MIAMI: World number one Tiger Woods said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) he is making very slow progress recovering from surgery for a pinched nerve and unsure when he will make his return to golf.
Woods updated his status in a blog posting on his website, saying he remains sore after the operation and regrets not being able to defend his title this week at the US PGA Players Championship.
“It’s tough to miss any tournament, but especially one that’s so important to the players and where I’m defending,” Woods said.
Woods has been unable to resume his workout regimen because of the March 31 operation, which kept him from playing in last month’s Masters, the first major championship of the year.
“My recovery from microdiscectomy sur-gery for a pinched nerve in my back is coming along, but it’s a very slow process,” Woods said. “I’m still sore, not from the procedure itself but the incision. I just need to get back to my day-to-day activities and that’s it.”
Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, cast doubt upon his ability to play in next month’s US Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina, in listing potential timetables for his return.
“As for my return to golf, I really don’t know,” Woods said. “I’m doing everything I can and listening to my doctors and working on a strength program and then we just have to see how my back is. “Some people heal up in three months, some people take four months, some people take longer. I just don’t know.”
The earliest of those spans would bring him back in time for the British Open at Hoylake, where Woods has won before.
The latest of those time frames would have him missing all four of the season’s majors, including the PGA Championship at Valhalla, where he has also won a major title.
“I hope to be back sometime this summer, but I just don’t know when,” Woods said. “There are a lot of big tournaments coming up. “I haven’t used a sand wedge yet. I’ve just done putting and chip-and-runs using the same length of motion.I haven’t really rotated yet.”