Tiger Woods was 'back on his feet the next day' after latest surgery, says Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is confident that Tiger Woods can make another successful return from back surgery despite undergoing that for the fifth time in his career at the age of 45.

Tiger Woods and son Charlie Woods fist bump during the PNC Championship at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida on 20 Deember. Woods undewent his latest back surgery three days later. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.
Tiger Woods and son Charlie Woods fist bump during the PNC Championship at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida on 20 Deember. Woods undewent his latest back surgery three days later. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

The 15-time major winner will miss his first two scheduled events in 2021 after revealing he had required “microdiscectomy procedure to remove a pressurised disc fragment”.

The news means that Woods will miss next week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and also the Genesis Invitational, which he hosts, in Los Angeles.

Speaking ahead of his own first appearance of 2021 in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, McIlroy said in reply to being asked about Woods having had surgery: “I’ve known for a while. He had it on 23 December. I am obviously pretty close with him.

“In his words, it was a small procedure, so I don’t think it is anything that …obviously any time you are cut into is something you try to avoid as much as you can.

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“He was back on his feet the next day and I don’t think we can read too much into it. I think they were just trying to clean a couple of bits up.”McIlroy, who lives close to Woods in Florida, added: “Obviously he won’t be playing for the next couple of months but he should be back for The Masters, if not before that. I think he will be just fine.

“I mean, he won The Masters (for the fifth time in 2019) with four back surgeries, so there’s not much he can’t do.”

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