In Depth

Tiger Woods: no timetable for comeback – is his career over?

Golfer hints that his playing days may be over after back surgery at the end of his worst ever season

The career of golf superstar Tiger Woods appears to be over after he admitted he had "no idea" if and when he would return from a third operation on his back.

The 39-year-old, who won the last of his 14 majors in 2008, had back surgery in September and Ocotber and has not swung a club since.

At a press conference this week he revealed that he had not yet begun rehab and could still not even bend over or play with his children. When asked about a possible return to action he said there was "no timetable" for a comeback. "That's the hardest part. There's really nothing I can look forward to or nothing to build for," he said. "Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?”

He added that if he were to achieve anything more in his career it would be a bonus.

It was "the most bleak prognosis yet regarding a return to competitive golf" says Ewan Murray of The Guardian, who notes that Woods has now undergone three surgeries in 19 months and this year endured the "worst season of his professional career".

Rory McIlroy posted a picture of himself alongside Woods on Instagram with a message stating "golf without him doesn't bear thinking about".

But that may be what lies ahead. "What most stunned journalists in attendance at the Albany Golf Club was his willingness to put his career into context if he never played again. Woods had always refused to do so before," says James Corrigan of the Daily Telegraph.

Woods has signed up as an assistant captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup, but it now looks as though he will be a non-playing member of the US team.

"If I was a betting man, my money would be on him sitting on a buggy and not having his clubs anywhere near Hazeltine, not just on fitness but on form as well," says BBC golf correspondent, Iain Carter. "It's going to be an awful long way back if he's going to make any kind of comeback."

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