Tiger Woods out of the Masters after having back surgery
By Stephanie Wei under The Masters


Tiger Woods announced on his own website and Twitter account that he will be unable to play in the upcoming Masters, the season’s first major, due to his back injury. Woods also revealed he had surgery recently to remove a pinched nerve, according to TigerWoods.com:

Tiger Woods announced Tuesday that he has undergone a successful microdiscectomy for a pinched nerve that has been hurting him for several months.

The surgery was performed Monday in Park City, Utah, by neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Rich.

The procedure was successful, but Woods will be unable to play in the Masters Tournament, instead requiring rest and rehabilitation for the next several weeks.

“After attempting to get ready for the Masters, and failing to make the necessary progress, I decided, in consultation with my doctors, to have this procedure done,” Woods said.

“I’d like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters,” Tiger added. “It’s a week that’s very special to me. It also looks like I’ll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy.

“I’d also like to thank the fans for their support and concern. It’s very kind and greatly appreciated. This is frustrating, but it’s something my doctors advised me to do for my immediate and long-term health.”

Tiger will start rehabbing soon and hopes to return to competition sometime this summer.

Woods will begin intensive rehabilitation and soft-tissue treatment within a week. Healing and recovery times differ for each individual based on many physiological factors, but Woods could begin chipping and putting, after assessment by his doctors, in three weeks.

The goal is for Tiger to resume playing sometime this summer. The repetitive motion from golf can cause this injury, and Woods could have sustained further damage if he had continued to play. There should be no long-lasting effects from the surgery, and it should not impact the longevity of his career.

“It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future,” Woods said. “There are a couple [of] records by two outstanding individuals and players that I hope one day to break. As I’ve said many times, Sam and Jack reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine.”

Ugh. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is an April Fool’s joke — not Tiger’s style.

Woods was forced to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational before the event even started. In his last start at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, he shot a final-round, six-over 78. Previously, he pulled out of the Honda Classic after 13 holes on Sunday, citing back spasms.

The Masters won’t be the same without Tiger. Here’s hoping he has a speedy recovery and we seen him back on the golf course soon.

(AP Photo)