The short answer to when Tiger Woods is going to return to competitive golf: we don't know, but it won't be soon.
That's the gist of what he said Monday morning during media sessions to promote his Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club. Tiger has still not hit any full shots since undergoing surgery March 31 to repair a pinched nerve in his back. That procedure brought immediate relief to his back, which he said had became so debilitating it caused him to doubt his ability to play golf again.
"Forget about playing golf at the highest level. I couldn't get out of bed," Woods said. "I was certainly doubtful at that point. What's it going to feel like? Am I going to be pain free? Am I going to be able to actually do this again, where I can to get out of bed, and go out there and play with my kids and play golf? All those things were up in the air."
He has chipped and putted and said he will leave the timing of his return to his doctors and trainers. That means it's unlikely Woods will compete at the U.S. Open, which is only 24 days away. Woods' friends Notah Begay and Suzann Pettersen have said that Woods will not be ready in time for the U.S. Open.
"It's not in my hands," Woods said in an interview with the Golf Channel's Damon Hack. "I have to get permission from (doctors) before I can come back. I have to continue to progress ... It is slow. It is tedious. I have to make sure I do it right. I've had knees. I've had Achilles. I could play through those. This one I just can't do it. Back injuries are no joke. When people say they feel debilitated when their back hurts, I understand what that feels like."
The Quicken Loans National will be played June 26-29.
"I'd love to play," Woods said. "But I just don't know. There is no date. There is no timetable ... I want to play today but it's just not going to happen."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.