Tiger Woods making progress but 'going to take time' to get back into 'golf shape'

Tiger Woods has given another positive update on his fitness but admits he is "not in golf shape yet" and has no date in mind for a return to competitive action.

Woods has not played since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February and is currently recovering from a fourth back operation in the last three years.

The former world number one said last month he had been cleared to resume short-game practice and revealed he has been making progress via a blog on his website today.

"As I wrote earlier this summer, I had a few matters to work on with my doctors and I did that," wrote the 14-time major winner, who will be an assistant captain for the United States in next week's Presidents Cup.

"I'm feeling good, strong and doing really well.

"About my most recent surgery, it's nice not to live in pain any more. I'm sleeping better because I don't have any nerve pain going down my leg. It makes a world of difference.

"I'm starting to hit the ball a little further - 60-yard shots. I have not taken a full swing since my back fusion surgery last April, but continue to chip and putt every day.

"The latter is paying off. Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler have been dropping by my house for putting contests. Justin also comes over to practice his chipping. It was fun to celebrate his PGA Championship win with him and Rickie, and we had a blast.

"I have my six-month back X-rays coming up. Once my surgeon takes a look, he'll give me the parameters of what I can do moving forward.

"I'm working out six days a week, alternating between the treadmill, bike riding, swimming and lifting twice a day. My muscle tone is coming back, but I'm not in golf shape yet. That's going to take time.

"Playing wise, I'm not looking ahead yet because I don't know what kind of swing I'm going to use. I just don't know what my body is going to allow me to do. Until I do, I'm going to listen to my doctors and continue to take it slowly."

Last month Woods pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, but agreed to enter a rehabilitation programme that would see the charge dropped later this year.

The 41-year-old has agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving at an October 25 hearing and enter a programme for first-time DUI offenders after he was found asleep at the wheel of his car in May.

He concluded his blog post by writing: "One thing I'd like to do is recognise my sponsors. They've been amazing and I really appreciate them standing by me. No matter what, their support hasn't waned a bit.

"Finally, thanks to my fans for your patience and encouragement. The last two years have been challenging and I have gone through a great deal. But you have always been there for me and I can't thank you enough."

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