PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Tiger Woods knows what it’s like to be the best in the world at something. He also knows what it’s like to lose that. Tiger tore his right Achilles tendon in 2008, and has also injured his left Achilles in subsequent years. It has kept him from playing, kept him from succeeding and kept him from being the best in the world.

There are parallels to what Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant is currently going through. Durant injured his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals at Toronto on Monday, and while it’s unclear whether Durant fully tore his Achilles as Woods did in 2008, most close to the situation believe that to be the case.

While basketball and golf are not similar in terms of the athleticism needed, this type of debilitating injury can keep you sidelined for months, if not years. Woods was asked about this before the 119th U.S. Open begins on Thursday.

“It was sad,” said Woods. “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.”

No one can help you. Durant insinuated a version of this on Instagram following Golden State’s 1-point, Game 6 victory over the Raptors. Still, that won’t help him prepare for what’s ahead.

“I mean, if he popped it, then that’s six-to-nine months of rehabbing,” said Woods. “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 … with Kevin.”

However, Woods can be used as inspiration. While golf isn’t in the same universe as hoops, Tiger still recovered from a torn and injured Achilles to succeed in his sport at the highest level. Nobody knows for sure what injury Durant is suffering from or how he will eventually recover, but if 2019 has taught us anything when it comes to all-time greats returning to all-time greatness, it has taught us this: anything — I mean, anything — is possible.

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