Tiger Woods says there is 'no timetable' for his return

Tiger Woods doesn't know when he'll be able to return to professional golf.

Speaking Tuesday at his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Woods couldn't offer a timeline for his recovery from a pair of back surgeries this fall.

"I have no answer to that, and neither do my surgeon or physios," Woods said with an air of dejection. "There is no timetable."

Woods underwent a second microdiscectomy procedure on his back in September, 18 months after an initial procedure on the same place in his back in March 2014. Six weeks after the September surgery in Utah, Woods has a follow-up procedure done to alleviate some complications. 

The September surgery came weeks after he finished his PGA Tour season at the Wyndham Championship, coming up short in an 11th-hour bid to make the FedEx Cup playoffs. That week in Greensboro, N.C., Woods complained of hip pain. In a follow-up visit with surgeon Dr. Charles Rich, it was discovered a nerve problem in his back was the source of the pain. Woods chose surgery rather than try rest and rehabilitation alone. 

Woods said the nature of the ailment frustrates him. Unlike his prior injuries and surgeries, including the many on his knees over the years, this problem doesn't have a clear timetable for recovery.

"That's the hardest part for me, is that there's really nothing I can look forward to, or build towards," he said. "It's literally just taking it day-by-day, week-by-week, time-by-time."

 

Woods said he has not started any kind of rehab and hasn't hit a golf ball -- a left-handed chip shot -- in two months. He said he misses golf, but is more worried about regaining the basic functionality that would let him be an active dad before concerning himself with playing golf.

"I miss being able to play soccer with [my kids]," he said. He added, "I want to be a part of my kids' lives physically, not as a cheerleader."

The tone in Woods' voice invited questions of different kinds insinuating his playing days might be over sooner than later -- an almost unprecedented notion in a sport where its legends have to be practically dragged off the stage. However, Woods has clearly considered the possibility of the end, and he seems at peace with the prospect of never adding to his incredible resume, including 79 PGA Tour wins and 14 major titles.

"I've passed Jack on the all-time win list," Woods said. "I'm just shy of Sam. I passed Sam basically a decade ago in major championships. I'm still shy of Jack's. I've had a pretty good career in my 20s and 30s. In my 20 years, I've accomplished a lot.

"If that's all that entails, then it's been a pretty good run."

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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