Tiger Woods understands why Kevin Durant risked injury to play in Finals


On Monday night, Kevin Durant went down with what is feared to be a torn Achilles. 

The sports world was left speechless as Durant, who had put it all on the line to help the Warriors stave off elimination in their NBA Finals clash with the Toronto Raptors, was helped off the floor by Andre Iguodala and trainer Rick Celebrini during the second quarter of the Warriors' 106-105 Game 5 win at Scotiabank Arena. 

Among those whose heart sank for Durant was Tiger Woods, the 15-time major champion who famously gutted through a broken leg and a torn ACL to win the 2008 U.S. Open. 

Woods, who has had a number of back and leg injuries during his famed career, was asked about his feelings watching Durant risk significant injury to win a championship, and he offered great perspective on KD's injury and decision to come back. 

"It was sad," Woods told reporters Tuesday during his 2019 U.S. Open media session at Pebble Beach. "As athletes, we've all been there to that spot when you just know it, that something just went, and can't move, can't do much of anything. And you can see it on his face, how solemn his face went. He knows it when things pop. You just know.

"And I've been there. I've had it to my own Achilles. I've had it to my own back. I know what it feels like. It's an awful feeling. And no one can help you. That's the hard part. And whether he has a procedure going forward or not, or whatever it is, his offseason, what that entails, that's the hardest part about it is the offseason or the rehab.

"I mean, if he popped it, then that's six to nine months of rehabbing. That's what people don't see, is all those long hours that really do suck. And why do we do it? Because we're competitors. As athletes, our job is to make the human body do something it was never meant to do and to do it efficiently and better than anybody who is doing it at the same time. Well, sometimes things go awry. And we saw it last night with Kevin."

As Woods prepares to try and win his 16th major championship this week at Pebble Beach, the Warriors must continue on without Durant. 

After a late barrage by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson rescued the Warriors in Game 5, the NBA Finals will shift back to Oracle Arena for Thursday night's Game 6. 

[RELATED: Tiger, seven others with a chance to win U.S. Open at Pebble Beach]

Durant's injury now will hang over the remainder of The Finals, but Woods is a testament to how a championship-caliber athlete can come back from even the most devastating injury. 

Everyone, including Woods, will be rooting for Durant on his road to recovery. 

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