Tiger Woods might miss the rest of the PGA Tour season after undergoing his fourth back surgery since 2014 to correct the back spasms that were affecting the former world number one in recent months.
The 14-time major winner announced that the surgery was a success and confirmed that he plans to return to competitive golf once the rehabilitation process is over. Woods reportedly had a damaged disc removed from his back to relieve the pressure it was putting on a nerve with the latest setback set to sideline the American for at least six months.
"The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain," Woods said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long," the former world number one added.
The 41-year-old has struggled with back injury since 2014 and has played just three tournaments in the last 20-months. Woods returned to action at the Hero World Challenge after a 15-month hiatus in December last year but continued to struggle with back problems.
Woods played a further two events in 2017 before pulling out of the Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February. He was expected to return for the Augusta Masters earlier this month but pulled out after failing to recover sufficiently. He recently said that his recovery process was going will with 'some good days and some bad'.
The operation was performed by Dr Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute and he has also given his approval with regards to Woods returning to action once he is completely healed.
"After he recovers from surgery, he will gradually begin his rehabilitation until he is completely healed. Once that's accomplished, his workouts will be geared to allowing him to return to competitive golf," Dr Guyer said.