Tiger Woods has announced that he still plans to play in the 2011 U.S. Open from June 16-19, despite re-aggravating knee and achilles injuries during the 2011 Players Championship on May 6.
"All my doctors said i should be ready by then," Woods said. "I should be good to go."
Woods said during a press conference at the AT&T National in Philadelphia that he is still resting his injuries, which caused him to withdraw from the Players Championship after nine holes. He has not been able to practice much while injured, but he plans on beginning strength training next week. He acknowledged the possibility that his recovery would not go smoothly, but reaffirmed his desire to play at Congressional.
"Yeah, there is, absolutely. But I'm not looking at it that way. I'm looking at it as, if I get the proper treatment, I'm going to play."
When asked about his long-term future with the injury, Woods said he is not thinking about that, though he did say he is "doubtful" to play in the Memorial Tournament from June 2-5.
"I'd much rather take it slow and see how it progresses on a week-to-week basis," Woods said.
Woods also admitted that he probably came back too quickly to play in the Players Championship, and that is something he regrets. However, Woods consistently insisted that the injury he suffered in 2008 that caused him to miss six months was much more concerning than this injury. This time, he says he just wants to be more cautious.
"That's why I want to shut it down, go on crutches and give it ample rest and ample healing time," Woods said.
Woods was six-over par through nine holes in his first round of the Players Championship, and was in visible pain at several points during the round. Woods originally suffered the injuries at the 2011 Masters, where he finished in a tie for fourth place after making a late charge on the final day. He has not won a major championship since the 2008 U.S. Open, when he overcame a knee injury to get the victory. On Monday, Woods slipped to 12th in the world rankings, outside the Top 10 for the first time since 1997.
When asked whether he hoped to be pain-free by June, Woods laughed and implied that he is never pain-free.
"I haven't been pain-free in a long time," he said. "Thank god there's Ibuprofen."