Recovery Time From Microdiscectomy?
By Torleif Sorenson on 4/3/14
Tiger Woods is not the only PGA Tour player to have undergone a microdiscectomy; blogger Geoff Shackelford reminds us that up-and-coming Canadian player Graham DeLaet underwent the same surgery on January 3, 2011 to alleviate back pain from an old hockey injury.

Some of the salient details from a January, 2012 interview follow:
Q: After the surgery, how long before you were able to pick up a club??

It was at the two-month mark where I started hitting little chips and putts and half-wedges, kind of thing. By the time — it wasn't probably until November that I could really like go after a drive as hard as I could, or really lash at one in the deep rough kind of thing.

After that, because I realized, I always thought that I was good enough throughout the year. That's why I came back and played. You know, on those days or on those kind of shots that I didn't feel anything else, I kind of knew that I was to the point where I needed to be to be playing.

Q: Can you describe your mood or state of mind post-surgery??

Yeah, I mean, it was like literally overnight, pain was like just gone. There's obviously a lot that I had to do for the next couple of months before I could just pick up a golf club again.

There was times when, like I said, I didn't know if I was going to be able to play. Again, and things start going through your head, like if you have children, whether you're going to be able play catch with them in the front yard and that kind of thing. I was in a pretty bad place mentally and physically, but it's just nice to be back.


Once I could start hitting the shots and feeling the shots that I knew that I was always capable of, and hitting it high and long, you know, there's times where I just couldn't get my body to move in the right path I guess to hit the shots I needed to hit pain free.

As soon as it started coming back, physically I feel that I'm the same player that I was there, or that I used to be, but I really feel like I'm in a better place mentally now and one of the main reasons is because I'm so happy to be out here playing and I realize over the past couple of years or a year that you know, we are all so fortunate to be playing golf for a living. You know, bogey is a pretty minor problem looking back to what I went through last year.

Knowing that every golfer is physically different, DeLaet's comments are especially noteworthy considering that Dr. Ara Suppiah thought that Tiger could be back as soon as the PGA Championship in August. That is just four months from now.

And given Tiger's age (38) and the incredible amount of strain and injuries he and his back have suffered throughout his career, a four-month recovery seems a bit too optimistic to this writer.

Read more

Interview transcript

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Image via Twitter, Graham DeLaet

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