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(Reuters) - A downbeat Tiger Woods painted a bleak picture about his golfing future on Tuesday when he said he was not sure when he would be able to return to playing the game.
Woods, speaking ahead of the Hero World Challenge he hosts this week in the Bahamas, said he has not swung a club since undergoing procedures on his back, has yet to begin rehabilitation and was unable to commit to playing in 2016.
"I have no answer for that and neither does my surgeon," Woods told reporters at Albany Golf Club, site of the annual event that benefits his foundation, according to ESPN.
"There is no timetable, so that's the hardest part for me. There's really nothing I can look forward to, nothing I can build toward."
Without a major victory since 2008, the 14-times major winner who turns 40 on Dec. 30 would not proclaim his career was coming to an end, saying instead he hoped to resume.
Yet the winner of 79 career PGA titles admitted that any top results from now on "is gravy" after dominating the game as the world number one for a record 683 weeks. He is now ranked 400th.
"For my 20 years out here I achieved a lot," he said. "If that's all it entails then I've had a pretty good run. But I'm hoping that's not it. I'm hoping I can get out here and compete against these guys. I really do miss it."
Woods thought he was getting back to form after a tie for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in August, following a woeful year in which he missed three cuts in major championships.
But three weeks later, Woods had a second microdiscectomy surgery to alleviate pressure on a disc in his lower back.
Woods said he had another procedure on Oct. 28 on the same area due to discomfort.
Asked what physical activity he was able to perform, Woods said: "I walk. And I walk some more."
Woods said he was in the dark about the future of his playing career.
"Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?" Woods said. "I don't know."
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue