Tiger Woods doesn’t think he’ll return to the game until he knows more about his back

Tiger Woods is still learning how to walk again after recently having multiple back surgeries, but he sounded a little less optimistic that he will be able to return to the game.

In an interview with ESPN’s “The Rich Eisen Show,” Woods said that if there’s one thing he has learned in this process, it’s that “the longer a player is out, the less likely that he’s going to come back.” In response to Eisen’s question, Woods replied: “Because of the nature of the injuries, I don’t know when that is going to happen.”

Woods tore the anterior cruciate ligament and also the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the first round of the Masters, a day after he had undergone microdiscectomy surgery on his back, and last week, he posted a video on Instagram of his new daily workout regimen. His family, meanwhile, is adjusting to life without him, including his three young children. Tiger Woods’ youngest son Skye was born just five months ago. pic.twitter.com/iHfmh5Ilrw — Andrew Sachs (@slab333) March 25, 2018

Woods, who has won five professional majors, including four Masters, has not played a full tournament since August of 2015 and hasn’t competed since January 2017. He has undergone two back surgeries in the past two years, and he has spent considerably more time recovering from those injuries than he has on the golf course. Woods’ most recent comeback attempt was stalled earlier this year by an arm injury, and after returning to competitive golf on a smaller-scale in January, he injured his knee again in early March during his first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

In his time away from golf, Woods has received his fair share of criticism, especially from internet trolls who think that the time off his game has given him an easy victory over the competition. On Eisen’s show, Woods told the sports show host that he didn’t care, adding that he understands his critics better now than he did even in the beginning of his comeback.

“I kind of got used to that after probably eight years or more,” he said. “People would always knock me because of the injuries I had and because I wasn’t consistent. When I went out and competed, I was beaten. I would say, ‘The fans here like what I’m doing,’ and they’d go ‘Thanks, man.’ And I’d go, ‘That’s what it’s all about.’”

Read the full story at ESPN.

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