The 18-time major winner has not played since the Dubai Desert Classic in February and has now conceded he may be unable to hit a ball in the heat of battle again.
Woods was asked about his future during a press conference ahead of this week’s Presidents Cup in New York, where he is acting as a vice captain.
Asked if he could see a scenario where he didn’t come back to competitive golf, the former world No 1 replied: “Yeah, definitely.”
Woods, who has undergone four separate surgeries in less than four years, added that although he was optimistic about a return, he acknowledged there was a chance it might not happen.
“I don’t know what my future holds,” said the 41-year-old, who revealed in a recent blog that he has no timetable for his return as he is only able to hit 60-yard shots at the moment “I didn’t even know I would be able to be here.”
That was reference to the fact that Woods, who is assisting Steve Stricker in the Presidents Cup, having filled a similar role for Davis Love at last year’s Ryder Cup, was unable to ride in a golf cart up until recently and was unable to drive a car.
“That’s not the case now,” he added. “But does anyone in their 40s feel as good as they did in their 20s? Seriously?”