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Woods Unsure of Return


Tiger Woods has written on his blog that he's not certain when he'll return to competition. Despite undergoing back surgery March 31, Woods is still the No. 1 player in the newest World Golf Ranking released Monday.

In what for Woods is a veritable novel, he wrote a 1,600-word essay on his website (http://www.tigerwoods.com/news/2014/05/05/73724944/tigers-blog-rehab-going-well-but-is-a-slow-process) Monday outlining his thoughts on the recovery process and when he'll be ready for tournament play.

"I'm still sore. Not from the procedure itself but the incision," Woods wrote. "I made the decision to have surgery because physically I just couldn't make a golf swing. That pretty much sums it up.

"Not being able to play in the Masters for the first time wasn't as hard for me as you might think. I've missed major championships before, so this was not a new experience. It helps when I'm physically unable to play the game."

It's unlikely he'll be back for the year's second major, the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, in mid-June. But he does plan on making an appearance in the newly named Quicken Loans National, to be held the last week of June at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

Because of his playing in only four tournaments this season, two of which he suffered from back pain, Woods is way down the points list in the FedEx Cup race; the top-nine on the list earn automatic spots on the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team. He's currently ranked 55th in points and will likely have to be one of captain Tom Watson's three picks to earn a spot on the team.

"As for my return to golf, I really don't know," Woods wrote. "I'm doing everything I can and listening to my doctors and working on a strength program, and then we just have to see how my back is. Some people heal up in three months, some people take four months, some people take longer.

"I haven't used a sand wedge yet. I've just done putting and chip-and-runs using the same length of motion. I haven't really rotated yet. As far as taking a full swing, I have conference calls with my doctors every couple of weeks to see how my progress is and just kind of chart it out from there. Basically, you just follow a program.

"It's tedious because it's little rehab stuff, but you still have to do it. That's where I think the experiences of having gone through the surgeries in the past have really helped because you have to lay the foundation down first before you can do the more arduous activities and then return to form. I'm walking and able to cycle now and started swimming last week."

Woods doesn't plan on hurrying the recovery process. "Once I begin swinging a club again, I'm not sure if I will have to make any changes to protect my back. That's up to (swing coach) Sean Foley and me on what we do. As far as limitations, it's a building process, just like when I came back from my knee and Achilles injuries. You start from the green and work your way back: putting, chipping, pitching, wedging, mid-irons, long-irons, woods and eventually playing.

"That's all a process and takes time. We have to make sure my back heals fine and I have the strength and mobility going forward."