Former world number one Tiger Woods has given the strongest indication yet that he might not return to competition this year, saying that he needs to be patient during his recovery from back surgeries.
Woods has not played on the PGA Tour since undergoing microdiscectomy back surgery last September and, at the age of 40, has decided not to rush his comeback.
Tiger Woods was speaking during Sunday’s final round of the Quicken Loans National in Bethesda, Maryland.
“I am playing, just I need more time,” tournament host Woods told CBS Sports “I still need to get stronger, I need to recover faster and that’s going to take time.
“I’m not a real patient person when it comes to that … pushing through some of my injuries, pushing through some of my rehab, I’ve come back and won, and won major championships doing it that way, but this one’s different.
“This one, I’m older, it takes a little longer to recover and to heal and I’m going to do it right so I don’t have another surgery.”
Woods, who made just 11 starts on the PGA Tour last season and only seven the season before, had his first back surgery in early 2014.
Asked if he would be able to return to competition at some point this year, he replied: “I don’t know. I want to play, I don’t know if I will but I do want to.
“I am trying. Each and every day, I’m doing my workouts, sometimes three times a day. I’m working my tail off. I’ve gotten stronger, I’m a little bit faster than I used to be. All that’s a positive but I still need now to get into golf shape.
“The mental side is the easiest part. It’s trying to get my body to do what I want it to do when I want it to do it. That’s the hard part about. I’ve had three back operations on the same area so it’s not fun.”