Tiger Woods never ceases to astound. His stunning US Open victory was enough, but now he has revealed the full extent and nature of the damage he has done to his left leg the story becomes even more astonishing.
It also leaves the golfing world reeling and despite his reassurances there must now be concerns over Woods’ golfing future.
Make no mistake the forthcoming surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament is aimed at saving what is becoming the most glittering career the game has ever seen.
There’s unanimous agreement in golf that the only thing that can stop him overtaking Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 majors is injury.
Also be in no doubt that the Open at Royal Birkdale next month, August’s US PGA in Michigan and the Ryder Cup in September will not be the same without him.
They will inevitably carry the asterisk saying ‘Tiger missing’; such is his domination of world golf.
"I know much was made of my knee throughout the last week, and it was important to me that I disclose my condition publicly at an appropriate time," Woods said.
"I wanted to be very respectful of the USGA and their incredibly hard work, and make sure the focus was on the US Open.
"Now it is clear that the right thing to do is to listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery, and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee.
"While I am obviously disappointed to have to miss the remainder of the season, I have to do the right thing for my long-term health and look forward to returning to competitive golf when my doctors agree that my knee is sufficiently healthy.
"My doctors assure me with the proper rehabilitation and training, the knee will be strong and there will be no long-term effects. Although I will miss the rest of the 2008 season, I'm thrilled with the fact that last week was such a special tournament.”
Woods’ disclosure of the extent of the damage done, he is also suffering a double stress fracture of his left tibia, puts to rest claims that he was ‘acting up’ during the US Open.
There are reports that fellow players could hear creaks and cracks coming from Woods’ knee as he was playing and by the end of his third round his only option was to play a gentle fade off the last tee.
He still made an eagle that gave him a one stroke lead going into the final round.
Woods’ Torrey Pines victory, already the stuff of legend, gathers yet more lustre.
Clearly playing this US Open was a huge gamble and it was rewarded with his fourteenth major title, but at what long term cost?
And the Open, US Open, Ryder and FedEx Cups are all suffering a terrible blow, although it might be argued this might boost the US Ryder Cup effort.
Although Woods was his country’s leading points scorer when they were thrashed by Europe at the K Club two years ago, he has only played on the winning side once since making his debut in 1997.
The worst period in the American Ryder Cup history has coincided with Woods’ career. Repeated captains have tried to make him a talismanic figure, but the world number one has rarely shown much enthusiasm for the matches.
So the likes of Phil Mickelson and the fiery Jim Furyk will now have to play those leading roles – and they may relish the chance - in a team that’s expected to contain a lot of new blood.
That’s the only consolation I can find for American golf in the wake of this news.
It’s to be hoped Woods makes a full recovery and when he does return he’ll not lack confidence – after all he knows what he can do on just one leg.