Nicklaus told him as much last Friday when Woods called to say that, for the second time in four years, he wouldn't be able to play in this week's Memorial Tournament because of an injury to his left leg. Woods missed out in 2008 while recovering from minor surgery to clean out cartilage damage in his left knee.
This time the culprit is a combination of a minor knee sprain and his Achilles, which was bad enough to cause him to leave The Players Championship after only nine holes. Woods hopes to play the US Open as trying to win majors starts with being able to play in them.
"I don't know the extent of his injuries," said Nicklaus. "I told Tiger when I was on the phone with him - which is the same thing I've said to him a thousand times - 'Tiger, nobody ever wants their records to be broken. . . but I certainly don't want you not to be healthy and not have the opportunity to play to break records.
"I want you to get yourself healthy, do what you have to do to go play, get your golf game back in shape, and I wish you well.' I would say that to any athlete and anybody, because I think that's the way it should be."