Tiger Woods says he “hasn’t felt this good in years” after having a fourth operation on his back, but added he will not “hurry” to return to golf.
America’s 14-time major champion, 41, came back after 15 months out injured in December, but has not played since his back problems recurred in February.
Plans to compete at Augusta in April – on the 20th anniversary of his first Masters win – had to be abandoned.
“I want to play professional golf again but I’m not looking ahead,” he said.
“I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”
Woods’ first return to competitive action came in December at the Hero World Challenge – an 18-man tournament in the Bahamas – and he finished 15th at the PGA Tour event.
He has not won a tournament anywhere since 2013, while his title drought in major championships dates back to 2008.
“It has been just over a month since I underwent fusion surgery on my back, and it is hard to express how much better I feel. It was instant nerve relief. I haven’t felt this good in years,” he wrote on his website.
“The long-term prognosis is positive. My surgeon and physiotherapist say the operation was successful. I’m walking and doing my exercises, and taking my kids to and from school. All I can do is take it day by day. There’s no hurry.
“But I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.”