Tiger Woods has reiterated his desire to play professional golf again and says the long-term outlook from his latest back surgery is ‘positive’.
The 41-year-old has been out of action since withdrawing ahead of the second round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in early February with ‘back spasms’ and missed The Masters for the third time in four years.
In a statement on his website, Woods revealed he had spinal fusion surgery for the first time just over a month ago – an operation that joins two or more vertebrae in the lower back – and is already seeing the benefits.
“It’s hard to express how much better I feel,” said Woods. “It was instant nerve relief. I haven’t felt this good in years.
“I could no longer live with the pain I had. We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked. I had good days and bad days, but the pain was usually there, and I couldn’t do much. Even lying down hurt. I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope.”
Woods referenced that Davis Love III, Retief Goosen and Lee Trevino have all underwent fusion surgery and returned to play professional golf, and he is confident he can do the same.
“The long-term prognosis is positive,” he continued. “There’s no hurry but I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.
“Presently, I’m not looking ahead. I can’t twist for another two-and-a-half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.
“There’s a long way to go, but as I said, words cannot convey how good it feels to be pain-free.”
Woods also used his statement to congratulate Sergio Garcia on his Masters triumph.
“Obviously, it was a huge disappointment not to play,” he said. “I hate to miss any major, especially The Masters, but the reality is I just couldn’t play. Again, I want to congratulate Sergio on a great win.”