Tiger Woods provided an update on his knee and recovery from his Aug. 20 procedure to repair cartilage damage at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Japan on Monday ahead of the Zozo Championship.
Woods told reporters he put off the surgery but is recovering well, per Bob Harig of ESPN:
"It just kind of deteriorated over the year. It's one of the reasons we were planning on doing it last year. But I screwed up by winning the Tour Championship [in Sept. 2018], and I thought I could keep it rolling.
"It affected the way my back was feeling and my practice schedule. I've been down this road. That was my fifth [knee] operation. It's been nice to have it moving again and not have it catch and lock up. A lot of wear and tear over the year. It's been stressed out for a very long time, and it was nice having it cleaned up."
Woods added that he is slightly ahead of his recovery timetable since he originally planned to have the procedure after the Tour Championship. But the American didn't end up qualifying for the event and had the surgery ahead of schedule during the Tour Championship.
"The whole idea was to be ready for this event, the Hero World Challenge and possibly Australia [at the Presidents Cup]," Woods said.
The 43-year-old has struggled consistently with injuries in the past decade, and the last year has been no exception. He's dealt with back, oblique and knee issues.
"The way I was feeling toward the middle part of the year, it was going to be a tall order to do it all," Woods said. "I was struggling waking—it affected my back, reading putts. I'm excited about having this end-of-the-year run, feeling much more fit. I don't have the achiness I had the last couple of years."
While Woods' quality of play deteriorated during his Majors drought from 2009 to 2018, he returned to top form at times in 2019, most notably winning The Masters. It remains to be seen if Woods will return from this latest injury setback and be anywhere close to his Masters-winning form.
But for Woods, just getting back to action is an important first step.
"I want to be fit and ready for the end of the year," he said. "Been battling through this year. Nice to get over the hump and start feeling good again and go at it full speed.''
Woods ranks 10th on the World Golf Rankings and, like the rest of the sport, is looking up at Brooks Koepka. The 29-year-old won the PGA Championship, had three other top-four finishes at the Majors this year and has won three tournaments overall.