Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods has been ruled out of the remainder of the season after undergoing a second bout of back surgery. The 14-time major winner is aiming to return in "early 2016" according to an announcement on his official website.
The 39-year-old had a disk fragment removed from his spine in March 2014 and has undergone a repeat procedure following discomfort in his back and hip during the Wyndham Championship. Despite having to cancel three scheduled appearances before the end of the year, Woods hopes to be able to return, free of injury, for the start of the new PGA season.
Woods has suffered a harrowing 2015 campaign, failing to make the cut at three of the year's four major championships and dropping to 283 in the world. The American will miss the Frys.com Open, Bridgestone America's Golf Cup and the Hero World Challenge, but is confident of returning to full fitness in time for the 2016 campaign.
"This is certainly disappointing, but I'm a fighter," Woods told his official website. "I've been told I can make a full recovery, and I have no doubt that I will.
"I'd like to send my regrets to Frys and all those associated with the America's Golf Cup. Those were two events I was really looking forward to playing. I was ready to start the 2015-16 PGA Tour season at Frys, and I was excited to join my good friend Matt [Kuchar] in Mexico City.
"I will be attending my foundation-hosted Hero World Challenge but won't be able to play. I appreciate everything that Hero does for the Tiger Woods Foundation, and I have a great personal relationship with Mr Munjal [vice chairman and CEO of Hero MotoCorp]. I look forward to being there to support my event.
"I appreciate the fans' concern and support," he added. "This is unfortunate, but these things happen. I've been injured before and played again. It won't be any different this time."