Tiger Woods: No date set for return from elbow surgery but recovery is going well

Tiger Woods said he would not know when he will return to competitive golf, although he expects his third elbow operation in three years to clear up the pain in time for a return.

The world No 1 has not played since early March but said the problems with his elbow were lessening as his rehabilitation continues. He has visited the University of Southern California medical centre in California to have the bone inserted into his elbow.

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Asked when he would return to competitive golf, Woods told the Daily Telegraph: “I don’t know when that is going to happen. We’ll get through the summer and then see where I am. If I can’t get better, I’m not going to play. If I can, it should be pretty soon.”

Woods also told the newspaper his second procedure in 2016, which he called “life changing”, gave him the courage to step back on to the practice range and hit shots over the course of a summer.

“It’s taken me three years to have one arm and a club in the back of my hand,” he said. “The last time it was just about being able to do daily activities. Now it’s what every golfer wants: to get back to hitting balls.

“I went through a lot of adversity. In a sense, it was life changing because I came back from the toughest surgery and I could pick up a club again. It was about attitude. The fear of my career ending and then thinking about kids and what life is going to be like once I’m done playing. It was tough but it was also something I was determined to do.

“The fingers have got a lot stronger and they just keep getting stronger. I can hold the club a lot better.”

The world No 1 shot two rounds of 69 and 73 over a three-day tournament to finish second behind Tony Finau at the Stonebrae Classic in Australia in December. He had a round of 65 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the PGA Tour in February. But that was followed by a round of 80 to miss the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship in Texas.

Speaking to the Herald Sun, he said: “I haven’t played as bad as the scores have shown. I just need to get back playing as much as I can, like any other pro player. The great part about that is, once I get back playing, I’m on tour so I can just come out to any tournament that is out there.

“To be playing at home in March, it would be nice if I was playing in Australia in February or something like that. But that’s not going to happen so I’ll just have to make the most of it.”

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