Tiger Woods has been sidelined by injury for well over a month now, and to hear him tell it, he won't be back anytime soon.
Speaking on Monday morning from Congressional in connection with the upcoming Quicken Loans National, Woods offered an update on his recovery from back surgery on March 31. And for Woods fans hoping to see their man return to action soon, the news wasn't promising.
When asked by Golf Channel's Damon Hack when he wanted to come back, Woods replied, "today," but added, "It’s not really in my hands. I don’t know. It’s in my doctor’s and my trainer’s. I’ve got to get permission from them before I can come back."
Woods, obviously, isn't the same player at 38 as he was in his multiple major-winning years, and allowed that he needs to be more patient in his recovery.
"It’s not a lot of fun, I’ll tell you that," he said. "It’s a lot of tedious little exercises that I have to do. At least I still get to chip and putt which is nice, and that’s progressing. I’ve got my feel for that which is nice. But, still haven’t hit any full shots, it’s still a little bit too soon."
This all but definitively ends any hopes that Woods could return for next month's U.S. Open. He's long targeted "the summer" as a date for his return, but that could include a few, or none, of this year's majors.
"I’ve had knees and Achilles [injuries] and I’ve been through that," Woods said. "And I could play through those. But this one, I just can’t do it. Back injuries are no joke. When people say they’ve felt debilitated when their back hurts, I understand what that feels like.”
Woods has not played since the WGC-Cadillac Championship in early March. He skipped both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Masters, two of his favorite tournaments, and had not made any public comments since his surgery on March 31.
The news conference came on the same day that Adam Scott officially took over the world No. 1 ranking, ending Woods' latest 14-month run and emphasizing how the world is moving on without him.
"I miss the game," Woods said, in a rare honest note. "Forget about competing at the highest levels, I miss being around the golf course."
Here's Golf Channel's interview with Woods: