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

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent III

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Tiger Woods has endured myriad health issues that have held him back from further greatness in his already legendary career. Unfortunately, Woods is hurting again, as he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines with a back injury on Feb. 5. He announced he has taken a leave of absence on Feb. 11.

Continue for updates.


Woods to Miss Arnold Palmer Invitational

Friday, March 13

Woods announced on his website that he would not be taking part in the Arnold Palmer Invitational:

I spoke to Arnold today and told him that I will not play in his tournament this year. I'm sorry I won't be in Orlando next week, but I know it will be a really successful event.

I've put in a lot of time and work on my game and I'm making strides, but like I've said, I won't return to the PGA TOUR until my game is tournament ready and I can compete at the highest level.

I hope to be ready for the Masters, and I will continue to work hard preparing for Augusta.
I want to thank everyone again for their support.


Woods Takes Leave of Absence 

Wednesday, Feb. 11

Golf Central reported Woods has taken a leave of absence and will return "when ready."

Woods released a statement on the decision on his website:

The last two weeks have been very disappointing to me, especially Torrey, because I never want to withdraw. Unfortunately, lately injuries have made that happen too often.

This latest injury is not related to my previous surgery. I am having daily physical therapy and I am feeling better every day.

Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me. My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I've said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I'm ready, I'll be back. Next week I will practice at Medalist and at home getting ready for the rest of the year. I am committed to getting back to the pinnacle of my game. I'd like to play The Honda Classic -- it's a tournament in my hometown and it's important to me -- but I won't be there unless my game is tournament-ready. That's not fair to anyone. I do, however, expect to be playing again very soon.


Woods Withdraws from Farmers Insurance Open

Thursday, Feb. 5

PGA Tour Now had the news of Woods' latest setback:

PGA Tour Media confirmed the back injury was the reason behind his withdrawal.

He was two over par through 11 holes.

Thursday's abbreviated round follows last week's disastrous season opener where Woods posted the worst round of his pro career. He shot an 82 and missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 in Washington, D.C., and Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel provided comments from a disappointed Woods:

Jason Sobel of Golf Channel provided more comments from Woods:

Sobel also shared this telling graphic of Woods' play since the start of 2014:

Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News wonders what this means moving forward: 

Nagging back problems forced Woods to take two separate, lengthy hiatuses during the 2014 calendar year. The first spanned from the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March to the Quicken Loans National in late June, and the second began following a missed cut in August's PGA Championship.

Woods returned to competition in his own Hero World Challenge tournament in December, featuring an exclusive, 18-player field. He felt prior to the event that his work with new swing coach Chris Como was encouraging:

The most important objective for Woods at this point is his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' all-time record for major victories. An epic comeback triumph at the 2008 U.S. Open marked Woods' last such victory, as he's been stuck on 14 wins to trail Nicklaus' 18.

If Woods is to be healthy for the Masters in April and beyond, he must take the proper precautions. Even if it means resting until he makes the stroll down Magnolia Lane, Woods has proved he can take prolonged breaks and still contend and even win majors.

With Rory McIlroy bidding for the career Grand Slam at Augusta National and other youngsters such as Rickie Fowler coming into their own, it's critical for Woods to return to peak condition if he wants to continue to be mentioned among today's elite.

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