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Injury to Woods a Major concern

THERE are fresh concerns for the career of Tiger Woods after another injury saw him again quit a tournament last night.

A limping Woods withdrew from the Cadillac Championship in Miami 11 holes into a final round where he had fallen out of contention.

"I felt tightness in my left Achilles when warming up this morning," he said in a statement later.

"It felt progressively worse throughout the day. After hitting my tee shot at 12 I decided it was necessary to withdraw.

"In the past I may have tried to continue to play, but this time I decided to do what I thought was necessary.

"I will get my Achilles evaluated some time early next week."

It is less than four weeks until the Masters at Augusta, where last year he managed fourth place despite injuring both his knee and his Achilles playing a shot from under a tree.

He tried to come back at The Players Championship a month later, but played nine holes in a six-over-par 42 and walked in.

Woods missed the US Open and Open Championship after that and also missed the last two majors of 2008 following reconstructive knee surgery.

He is due to play next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, but the opening major of the season is obviously the priority for the 36-year-old.

Woods was three over par for his round and 10 shots off the lead when he called it a day. Minutes later he was driving home. At the turn he had changed shoes and was noticeably limping. On hitting his second shot from the rough on the 10th hole into water he winced and appeared to be in pain.

Playing partner Webb Simpson said: "I wasn't paying much attention, but it looked like he made a swing on 12 that really hurt.

"He just shook my hand and said 'I've got to go in'. You could tell he was hurting -- he didn't say a whole lot, but his expression was enough."

Simpson's caddie Paul Tesori said Woods started hobbling from about the fourth hole.

This was the third straight week that Woods had played and, when asked after Saturday's round how his leg was holding up, he said: "Oh, it feels great."

This is the third time in three years that Woods has withdrawn due to an injury. He also quit the 2010 Players Championship because of a neck strain.

In 2008 he played through a stress fracture in his left leg on his way to winning the US Open at Torrey Pines and, in December of that year, while recovering from surgery, tore his Achilles tendon.

In all, Woods has had four operations on his left leg during his career and the latest setback is all the more disappointing for him and his fans, coming as it did a week after he shot 62 -- his lowest final round as a professional -- and was runner-up to Rory McIlroy at the Honda Classic.