The 14-time major champion, who shot a five-over-par 77 in round one yesterday, withdrew more than an hour before his scheduled tee time [8.35am] with Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick due to a back spasm.
He can’t make a full rotation with his swing
Woods looked in some discomfort as he walked the fairways but insisted afterwards that he wasn’t in any pain – just that he had played poorly.
And Steinberg was quick to offer reassurance that the back spasm was not directly linked to the back surgeries Woods had towards the end of 2015 that kept him out of the game for 15 months.
“He can move around but he can’t make a full rotation with his swing,” Steinberg told reporters in Dubai.
“Spasms are a funny thing – they come and go. The fact that he feels as though it’s not the nerve pain – that’s very encouraging for him.
“He’s had some spasms before, no doubt about it. The short-term prognosis he hopes will be strong because it’s not that nerve pain.
He had no issues with this last week
“He had no issues with this last week. He said yesterday when he got off the course that there was no pain – it just wasn’t pretty play. I saw him before he went to dinner last night and he was in no pain. It was one of those things that just happened.”
Steinberg insisted that Woods remains hopeful of teeing it up at the Genesis Open in two weeks’ time – a tournament now hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation.