'My back is much improved and it gets better every day,' said Nicklaus. 'I believe I'm going to be fine if I keep working at it. Any reports of my demise have been exaggerated.'
Nicklaus did withdraw from the season-opening MasterCard Championship next week because of the herniated disc in his back. He thought that it might put too much strain on his back but he implemented a new therapy program last week that already has paid dividends.
'I think I'm onto a proper rehab program now,' he said. 'I'm not taking any pain medication or anything. Last week, I probably couldn't drive it within 60 or 70 yards of Gary (his son). I figure I'd be about 10 yards behind him - which is probably where I should be.
'I've played a lot of golf and I've had a lot of stress on my body for a long time. There's bound to be cumulative effects that aren't good. If all the golf I play from now on is recreational golf, so be it. How in the world can I have anything to complain about? But frankly, I think I'm on the right track. I feel better, and I think I'll play a lot more golf.'
Nicklaus, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary in PGA Tour golf this week, withdrew from the Senior Players Championship halfway through the second round last July. He did not play much more competitive golf since, including missing the Hyundai Team Matches and the inaugural UBS Warburg Cup.
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