AP/Press Association Images
Under the knife

Bad news for anyone still hoping to see Tiger Woods get back to his best

Second back surgery rules Woods out of action until early 2016.

TIGER WOODS SAID he will be sidelined until 2016 after a second back surgery, but confidently predicted he would make a full recovery.

In an article posted on his website, the 14-time major champion revealed he had surgery on Wednesday in Utah.

The microdiscectomy was similar to the procedure he underwent on March 31, 2014, Woods said.

“This is certainly disappointing, but I’m a fighter,” Woods said.

I’ve been told I can make a full recovery, and I have no doubt that I will.

In the meantime, Woods said he would have to withdraw from the Open in October, as well as the two-man America’s Golf Cup in Mexico City and his own unofficial Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December.

“I’d like to send my regrets to Frys and all those associated with the America’s Golf Cup,” Woods said. “Those were two events I was really looking forward to playing.

“I was ready to start the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season at Frys, and I was excited to join my good friend Matt (Kuchar) in Mexico City.”

Woods said he would attend the Hero World Challenge that benefits his charitable foundation, but won’t be able to play.

“I look forward to being there to support my event,” he said.

Former world number one Woods struggled through a miserable 2015 campaign that included missed cuts at three straight major championships — the US Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

He posted his worst rounds as a pro — an 82 at the Phoenix Open and an 85 at the Memorial, even taking a break from competition early in the year to try to sort out his game and get going again in his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major titles.

Things were looking up last month when Woods was in contention for his first US PGA Tour win since 2013 at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he eventually finished tied for 10th and missed the US tour’s season-ending playoff series.

According to his website, Woods had experienced occasional discomfort in his back and hip area for several weeks, including at the Wyndham and an examination showed that the “random discomfort” was coming from his back.

“With the upcoming offseason, the decision was made to remove a small disc fragment that was pinching his nerve,” said neurosurgeon Charles Rich, who also performed Woods’ 2014 surgery.

“The microsurgery was a complete success, and he was discharged Thursday night,” Rich said.

According to the website, Woods was to begin intensive rehabilitation and soft tissue treatment within a week.

“Healing and recovery times differ for each individual based on many physiological factors, but Tiger is encouraged he can return early in 2016,” the posting said.

“I appreciate the fans’ concern and support,” Woods said.

This is unfortunate but these things happen. I’ve been injured before and played again. It won’t be any different this time.

© – AFP 2015

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