For the first time publicly, Tiger Woods admitted during a Tuesday press conference that if he hadn’t tried to compete at The Players Championship and reinjured himself, he would be playing right now.
“In retrospect, I came back probably too early at the Players, and it was borderline whether I should play or not,” said Woods, who posted a front-nine 6-over 42 before withdrawing last month. “I've played hurt before. I've played through injuries, I've played hurt, I've played in pain. That's just part of playing sports. And I felt that was the same thing. Unfortunately, I pushed it too hard and hurt myself and this time around I'm not going to do that again.”
As such, Woods said there is now no timetable for his return to competition. He intimated that other than putting, he hasn’t hit a golf ball since the Players and doesn’t know when that process will begin.
“I'm being smarter this time,” he said. “All the years of playing when my knee wasn't very good and playing through it, you know, unfortunately I broke my leg and still played. That's not exactly smart. I'm going to do it differently this time. I am going to come back when I'm 100 percent ready, which is different for me.”
Woods’ original knee and Achilles injury took place while hitting his second shot on the 17th hole from pine straw during the third round of the Masters two months ago. He was forced to skip the recent U.S. Open and his inclusion in the upcoming Open Championship two weeks from now is very much in jeopardy.
“I wouldn't go over there just to show up,” said Woods, who has only missed back-to-back majors in his career once, when recovering from knee surgery three years ago. “I'd go over there to win the golf tournament, so I need to obviously get my body ready so I can practice and eventually play.”
Despite rumors that a similar procedure will be required this time, Woods maintained that surgery is not an option for his current injuries.
“There's no surgery required at all,” he said. “There's been no discussion of surgery.”