Blacksburg High School graduate Lanto Griffin announced on Twitter on Tuesday night that he underwent surgery on his lower back Monday and will be sidelined from the PGA Tour for at least 5-6 months.
The golfer tweeted that he had microdiscectomy surgery on the L5-S1 segment of his spine. He tweeted that he first ruptured the disc in May 2020 and that he suffered a worse rupture in January.
“[This week’s surgery] was a very hard decision with the FedEx Cup playoffs a few weeks away,” he said in his Twitter statement. “I’ve battled through a lot of flare-ups since January and living with intense nerve pain for the past two months without relief.
“Since [the] John Deere [Classic early this month] I haven’t been able to swing a club. … It made the decision an easy one.”
Griffin, 34, wrote that he awoke from his operation without any nerve pain down his right glute muscle or hamstring.
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“It was like turning off a light switch,” he tweeted. “Modern medicine is pretty amazing.”
Griffin said in his statement that he won’t be able to swing a club again for 2-3 months.
“Can’t wait till the day I can swing a club and put socks on without pain,” he wrote.
The former VCU golfer is 65th in the FedEx Cup rankings with 592 points, so he was set to make the FedEx Cup playoffs.
He has won $1.7 million this season. He has four top-10 finishes this season, most recently a tie for sixth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
Griffin has missed the cut in his last three tournaments — the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship and the John Deere Classic.
Griffin won the PGA Tour’s Houston Open in 2019. He has won $6.8 million on the PGA Tour in his career.
Twins sign Va. Tech’s Schobel
The Minnesota Twins have signed Virginia Tech shortstop Tanner Schobel.
The Twins chose Schobel with the 68th overall pick in the major league amateur draft this month. He was taken in the competitive-balance round, a supplemental round that followed the second round.
Jim Callis of MLB.com tweeted Tuesday that Schobel received a signing bonus of $1,002,000, which is the full slot value designated by Major League Baseball for the 68th overall pick.
Schobel hit .362 with 18 doubles, 19 homers and 74 RBIs as a sophomore this year.
• In other draft news, Callis tweeted Wednesday that Virginia pitcher Nate Savino has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Savino was chosen in the third round with the 82nd overall pick. Callis tweeted that Savino signed for a bonus of $700,000, slightly under the slot value of $782,400 for the 82nd overall pick.
Savino was 6-6 with a 3.69 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 78 innings as a junior.
• The Baltimore Orioles announced Tuesday the signing of Virginia Tech reliever Graham Firoved.
He was chosen in the 16th round. Firoved was 5-0 with a 4.76 ERA, two saves and 72 strikeouts in 51 innings as a senior.
UVa’s King wins gold
UVa’s Matt King tied for first place in the 100-meter freestyle Tuesday night at the U.S. national championships in Irvine, California.
King and Zach Apple each had a time of 48.44 seconds.
UVa’s Gretchen Walsh took silver in the women’s 100-meter freestyle with a time of 53.86 seconds Tuesday night.
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