It may be a while before we see Tiger Woods on a golf course again. In September, Woods announced that he’d undergone yet another surgery on his back, and earlier this week, in the lead-up to the Hero World Challenge (a tournament Woods hosts), he gave a dejected interview about the status of his health.
“There is no timetable,” he said of his return.
He hasn’t even been able to start rehabbing. “I walk. I walk. And I walk some more,” he said.
On Thursday, Time published a long interview between Woods and veteran golf writer Lorne Rubenstein. In it, Woods speaks with unusual candor, opening up about his current relationship with his ex-wife, details of their divorce, and why things didn’t work out with now ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn. The whole interview is fascinating, and well worth reading in its entirety.
But focusing on golf for a moment, Woods also revealed just how bad his back has been over the past few years. One anecdote in particular helps provide some context for his interview from the Hero World Challenge:
I’ll never forget when I really hurt my back and it was close to being done, I was practicing out back at my house. I hit a flop shot over the bunker, and it just hit the nerve. And I was down. I didn’t bring my cell phone. I was out there practicing and I end up on the ground and I couldn’t call anybody and I couldn’t move. Well, thank God my daughter’s a daddy’s girl and she always wants to hang out. She came out and said, “Daddy, what are you doing lying on the ground?” I said, “Sam, thank goodness you’re here. Can you go tell the guys inside to try and get the cart out, to help me back up?” She says, “What’s wrong?” I said, “My back’s not doing very good.” She says, “Again?” I say, “Yes, again, Sam. Can you please go get those guys?”
It’s no wonder, then, that Woods is taking this recovery as slowly as possible. He turns 40 at the end of this month. In order to fully recover — just so that he doesn’t keel over on the middle of the golf course, let alone compete — it’s going to take a while.
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