Date: May 25, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Tiger pain-free for first time in years

A pain-free Tiger Woods wants to return to golf.

But while Woods provided an upbeat update on his recovery today, he didn't give details of any possible timeline.

"All I can do is take it day by day. There’s no hurry," Woods wrote on his website.

"But, I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again."

Woods missed the cut in his only US PGA Tour start of 2017 at Torrey Pines then withdrew after the first round at the Dubai Desert Classic the following week with back spasms.

After his "huge disappointment" of missing the Masters, Woods had a fourth back operation in April that will keep him out for at least the rest of the current season.

This fourth procedure was different from his previous three, though, in that it was a fusion, an option he seemingly viewed as a last resort.

"I could no longer live with the pain I had," he wrote.

"We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked. I had good days and bad days, but the pain was usually there, and I couldn’t do much. Even lying down hurt.

"I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope. The process leading up to my decision to have surgery was exhaustive. I consulted with a specialist, and after weighing my options, that’s when I decided to go to Texas to have surgery."

Woods says the procedure gave him "instant nerve relief" and that he hasn't "felt this good in years."

"There’s a long way to go … (but) words cannot convey how good it feels to be pain-free."

But he specifically stayed clear of putting dates on any possible return to golf.

"I’m not looking ahead. 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."