Sports Health Expert on Tiger Woods' Return to the Masters: 'Pretty Remarkable Recovery'

“From an orthopedic standpoint, he's a testament to modern medicine. From a fan standpoint, it's a testament to his drive and dedication,” Dr. Kirk Campbell, MD, tells PEOPLE

Tiger Woods walks off the third tee during the second round of The Masters
Tiger Woods. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty

Tiger Woods' return to the Masters is nothing short of extraordinary.

"I think it's absolutely fantastic that he's been able to come back," Dr. Kirk Campbell, MD, orthopedic surgeon and sports health expert, Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Health, tells PEOPLE. "He had a very, very severe injury to that right lower high extremity, multiple surgeries, very tough rehab. This just goes to show his will and determination to kind of rehab from such a terrible injury. Just looking at him play yesterday [Thursday], I was thoroughly impressed."

After much speculation as to whether the golf legend, 46, would make an appearance at Augusta National Golf Course — which boasts notoriously tough terrain — for the 2022 Masters, Woods returned to the green after more than a year of being off the PGA Tour.

"My recovery has been good," Woods told reporters last week. "I'm very excited about how I've recovered ... My team has been fantastic."

Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the first green during the first round of the Masters
Andrew Redington/Getty

The athlete was injured in a car accident in early 2021, suffering fractures to the upper and lower portions of his tibia and fibula bones, which have been stabilized with a rod.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

In the year since, Woods seemed hesitant to assign a timeline to a return to professional golf, should he be able to make one.

"I think this is a pretty remarkable recovery and this just goes to show that as an athlete, he's shown time and time again that injuries that would take the average person out of competing, or for a very extended period of time, he's recovered from very quickly," Dr. Campbell tells PEOPLE.

RELATED VIDEO: Tiger Woods' Kids, Girlfriend and Mom Join Him for World Golf Hall of Fame Induction

Continues Dr. Campbell: "So to be playing competitive golf at all, 14 months out from the injuries he sustained – and then to be playing at such a high level in the Masters with the best of the best and still holding his own – is simply impressive."

Woods is currently tied for 37th place in the final round of the tournament on Sunday, with 6 over par.

"I think it's just simply amazing he's out there," Dr. Campbell adds. "And from an orthopedic standpoint, he's a testament to modern medicine. From a fan standpoint, it's a testament to his drive and dedication. It's pretty inspiring."

Related Articles