Another major setback: Tiger Woods undergoes follow-up back surgery
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

No one in the biz is better at a Friday 5:30pm ET news dump than Team Tiger. The latest announcement on Tiger Woods’ website does not appear to bode well for his speedy return following a second back surgery in September.

Woods endured a follow-up procedure to the aforementioned microdiscectomy to relieve discomfort, according to his website. Last month’s surgery was to alleviate pain from a disk fragment that was pinching a nerve.

The procedure was performed on Wednesday by Dr. Charles Rich, the same doctor who carried out the last two surgeries.

There is no timetable for Tiger’s return to competitive golf. Which is not a good sign considering that in September’s announcement he at least had an optimistic outlook at hoping to compete again in “early 2016.” Now it’s sounding doubtful we’ll even see him at all next year.

“It’s one of those things that had to be done,” Tiger said. “I have an outstanding team of doctors, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Woods is on bedrest. Yikes.

Bottom line: This is bad news for Tiger. He’s a physical mess. Which sucks. There’s nothing worse than back problems, especially if you’re a professional golfer. But if you’re one of those delusional rah-rah Tiger fans, it might be time to face reality: Tiger turns 40 in December, his body is in shambles after three surgical procedures in the last 18 months (not to mention the other surgeries and injuries he’s endured throughout his career), and it’s going to be a long road to recovery and he is never going to be that same Tiger Woods who wowed and dazzled the world with his amazing gift. I know, it’s sad. Very sad.

Last week in Mexico, Woods made an appearance and gave a press conference for an exhibition that he was scheduled to play in, but had to cancel due to September’s “unexpected” back surgery. He spoke about the rehabilitation process and described that it would be a “long and tedious” process. Woods also brought up that he had yet to begin treatment — which I found strange at the time, but it obviously all makes sense now.

While Woods is clearly not playing in the Hero World Challenge, where he plays host to the limited-field exhibition that benefits his foundation, he is slated to attend and have a presence in the Bahamas from December 2-6.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be the last surgery Woods has on his back. I’m not a doctor, but when you hear that someone is having a “follow-up procedure,” it’s never a positive sign. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we hear in the upcoming months that Woods will be forced to go under the knife again for a more serious operation. That’s pure speculation on my part, though.