Tiger Woods said he feels like he is “right on schedule” ahead of making his return to PGA Tour action for the first time since knee surgery at the Zozo Championship.
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Woods had an arthroscopic procedure in August, the fifth time he has had surgery on his left knee, after failing to qualify for his title defence at the season-ending Tour Championship.
The 15-time major champion was hampered by injury problems during 2019 and has only played 17 competitive rounds since his Masters victory in April, with Woods admitting that he had initially planned to have the surgery sooner.
“I was intending to actually get it done last year after the Hero World Challenge,” Woods said. “Because I had played well in the play-offs and I won the Tour Championship, I figured I would keep rolling with it.
“I wanted to play at Torrey [Pines] at the beginning of the year and If I had the surgery, I wouldn’t be ready, so I decided to not have a procedure done and tried to get through it the rest of the year.
“It progressively got worse and got to where it was affecting even reading putts. You could see it towards the end of the year I wasn’t quite getting down on my putts well. I’ve been down this road before with knee rehabs and knew the protocols.”
Woods featured alongside Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day on Monday in a Skins match ahead of this week’s inaugural PGA Tour event in Japan, with the 43-year-old still undecided whether he will name himself as captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup.
“It’s been nice to have it [the knee] moving again and not having it catch and lock up like it has been,” Woods added. “It’s just wear and tear over the years. It’s been stressed out for a very long time and it’s nice to have it cleaned up.
“I’m right on schedule. The procedure was scheduled for the Tuesday after the Tour Championship and I had it the Tuesday of the Tour Championship. The whole idea was to be ready for this event and get ready for Hero [Hero World Challenge] and possibly Australia [Presidents Cup].