Tiger Woods Injury: Updates on Golf Star's Back and Return

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

Tiger Woods pauses to consider his second shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Rob Brown)
Rob Brown/Associated Press

Golfer Tiger Woods is still recovering from multiple back surgeries and reportedly has no set time frame for his return.  

Continue for updates.

Woods Registers for US Open

Monday, April 25

Alex Miceli of Golfweek reported, "Woods has not provided a date and time for his return to championship golf, but he has done what is required to play in the U.S. Open here in June: register."

The 2016 U.S. Open tournament takes place June 16-19.

Woods' Agent Comments on Golfer's Health

Sunday, April 3

Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, told Bob Harig of ESPN.com that he "absolutely" expects his client back on the golf course this year but added there's "no timetable" for Woods to do so:

Steinberg emphasized there has been no discussion about a specific tournament to target -- which he viewed as a good thing. In their 19-year association, Steinberg said, Woods always set such goals but is not forcing the issue this time.

"He doesn't want to hit the start-stop button,'' Steinberg said.

On Feb. 24, Steinberg told Harig that the video of Woods swinging a club was from that morning and added he was using a 9-iron in addition to the chipping and putting he had been doing as part of his recovery.

Steinberg noted the video was a response to questions about whether Woods' career was over, but he did not give an update on Woods' return, per Harig.

On Feb. 22, Steinberg called reports of a Woods having a setback with his continued back issues "ridiculous" and "absolutely false," per Harig.

Woods Will Not Compete in Masters

Friday, April 1

Woods released a statement on his decision to sit out of the Masters this year:

After assessing the present condition of my back, and consulting with my medical team, I've decided it's prudent to miss this year's Masters.

I've been hitting balls and training daily, but I'm not physically ready. I've said all along that this time I need to be cautious and do what's best for my long-term health and career. Unfortunately, playing Augusta next week wouldn't be the right decision. I'm absolutely making progress, and I'm really happy with how far I've come, but I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf.

I'd like to express my disappointment to Billy Payne, the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I won't be competing. It's a very important and special week to me, and it's upsetting to miss it. I do plan to attend the Champions Dinner and see a lot of old friends.

I'd like to thank the fans for their concern and support. The last few years have been difficult, but I have the best fans anywhere, and I want them to know that.

Woods Comments on Recovery

Friday, March 11

"Health-wise, I continue to improve," Woods said on his website. "I'm working hard on my short game at my outdoor practice facility and on my indoor Full Swing golf simulator. Still no timetable on my return, but I'm excited to get back out there with the guys."

"While there is no timetable on my return to competitive golf, I want to play this game at the highest level again," Woods said in a post on his website on March 2. "In order to do that, I have to get healthy."

On Feb. 24, Woods posted a video of him swinging as he continues to rehab:

Woods Reportedly Still on Shelf for Foreseeable Future

Monday, Feb. 22

Golf journalist Robert Lusetich reported Monday that Woods' condition has "worsened," and he does not have a set date for a return to the course. The former world No. 1 reportedly "can't move well" and has trouble sitting, so he must sit in the car with the seat fully reclined. 

Lusetich added that about 90 to 95 percent of microdiscectomies, the procedure Woods had, are successful, meaning the star golfer "got unlucky." Lusetich added Woods' career isn't over, but there is no "imminent return."

Woods Is No Stranger to Setbacks in Recovery

This is not the first physical setback for Woods in his career.

ESPN.com chronicled Woods' injury history, which has cost him plenty of opportunities to add more major championships to his resume. His major injuries include a ruptured ACL in 2007, an arthroscopic knee surgery in 2008, an ACL repair in 2008, a torn right Achilles tendon in 2008-09 and continuous knee and back problems in the more recent years of his career.

He had back surgery in 2014 and 2015 and did not win a single tournament during that span, failing to add to his 79 PGA Tour victories.

Despite the injuries, it is a testament to Woods' overall greatness that he has 14 major titles, second behind Jack Nicklaus' 18. He is on anyone's short list of the best golfers in the sport's history and brought plenty of viewers in during his dominant prime in the early 2000s.

However, partially because of these physical problems, he has not won a major since he captured the 2008 U.S. Open crown.

There was a time not long ago that any injury to Woods would be devastating to the PGA Tour and golf in general. After all, he was the primary draw for any tournament, and television ratings and ticket sales often depended on whether he was healthy, playing and in contention.

However, that is no longer the case. There are a handful of young golfers on tour who capture attention any time they are in the field, including Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler.

They will have to assume the mantle until Woods returns from his latest ailment.


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