Another month, another back issue for Tiger Woods.
The 14-time major winner announced on his website that he underwent a follow-up back procedure to “relieve discomfort” following his second microdiscectomy in September that corrected a pinched nerve.
“It’s one of those things that had to be done,” Woods said. “I have an outstanding team of doctors, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
One of his former swing coaches isn’t so sure.
When reached by GOLF.com, Hank Haney, Woods’ coach for six years questioned if anyone has ever played on the PGA Tour after three back opetations.
“If Tiger is done it wouldn’t be the worst way to go out because the narrative will be that injuries robbed him the opportunity to catch Jack Nicklaus’s record,” Haney said. “I’m sure Tiger will say he is going to do everything he can to come back, and I’m sure he will try, but anyway you look at it, the odds aren’t great now of ever seeing him return to a level even close to where he once was.”
Will we see Tiger in 2016? Haney is skeptical following this second procedure in two months.
“Maybe if he gives himself a year or so to get better he can make some kind of a comeback,” Haney said.
The procedure, performed on Wednesday by Dr. Charles Rich in Utah, has forced Woods to be on bed rest. That will cause him to miss a final design visit to Bluejack National, his first course design in the U.S. that’s set to open in 2016.
“I’m extremely disappointed not going to Bluejack, but I’m very excited about our grand opening in the spring,” Woods said. “It’s a fantastic course, and we’re very proud of our first U.S. design.”
The next time we’ll see Woods is at the Hero World Challenge on Dec. 2-6, where he is host. Last year’s event was the beginning of forgettable 2014-15 season and the first sight of Woods’ chip yips that would plague him throughout the year. He will not play in this year’s event.
The next time we’ll see him actually competing in a tournament? The 39-year-old gave no timetable for a return.
”My family and the fans’ concern and support have helped a lot,” Woods said. “I’ll be back, and I’ll be ready to compete.”