In a revealing interview with ESPN, Tiger Woods said that he is “very confident” he’ll return from knee surgery in time to compete in next year’s Masters, which begins April 9.
“I have six months off from the surgery,” Woods said, explaining his timetable for returning to competitive golf. “That takes me to January, then four months [before the Masters]. Ten months, that’s a long time.”
Woods added that the typical recovery of football players from similar ACL surgery is six to nine months.
“If they can do that in football, I hope I can do it in golf,” Woods said.
His left knee, which now shows just a tiny scar from his June surgery, is pain-free, Woods said, although he still cannot rotate the knee, which makes swinging a golf club impossible. He said he still needs to let the ligament heal and won’t swing a club until next year. Exactly when depends on when his surgeons let him. Right now, his rehabilitation consists primarily of weights, cardio exercises and swimming. The entire recovery time will be two years, Woods said, but after six months the ligament is 85 percent healed.
Pressed to give a return date (Bay Hill? Doral?), Woods said he didn’t know and that as an athlete, not knowing was frustrating. In addition to the uncertain return date, Woods said he still would have to “ramp up” his game to get it in tournament shape. He maintained, as always, that he would never enter a tournament he didn’t believe he could win.
“I’d like to be back soon, but I don’t know when soon is,” Woods said.
The arrival of Tiger and Elin’s second child has a much firmer date, sometime in February, than his return to golf. Woods told ESPN that he didn’t know if the baby’s arrival would impact his return date, but that it would affect him in other ways.
“You don’t get a whole lot of sleep,” Woods said, laughing.
Woods said he was surprised that he didn’t miss golf very much, but he said that was probably because right now he would play poorly. Woods said he didn’t watch much golf this season, catching only the last holes of the British Open and the PGA Championship, but he did tune in for the Ryder Cup.
“I felt great for the guys, especially for Phil [Mickelson] and me and [Jim] Furyk, the guys who’ve been on the team the longest,” Woods said. “Jim sent me a nice text that said, ‘I wish you could be there to experience this.’ Because we had been through the losses together.” Click here for more on Tiger Woods