Free of crutches and a walking boot, it seemed a bit wiser Tiger Woods who addressed the media today as host of the AT&T National outside of Philadelphia.
The Striped One said he is “just playing it by ear right now,” in regards to his return to the PGA Tour and perhaps next month’s British Open Championship. Woods is still recovering from nagging left knee and Achilles injuries that forced him to withdraw during the first round of The Players Championship this past May.
“In retrospect I came back probably too early at The Players,” Wood said. “It was borderline whether I should play or not. I’ve played hurt before. I’ve played through injuries, I’ve played hurt;, I’ve played in pain. That’s just part of playing sports. And I felt that was the same thing. Unfortunately I pushed it too hard and hurt myself, and this time around I’m not going to do that again.”
Woods said he’s being “smarter” with his recovery than in the past when he played through such things as the broken leg on which he won the 2008 U.S. Open Championship.
“All the years of playing when my knee wasn’t very good and playing through it, you know, unfortunately I broke my leg and still played. That’s not exactly smart,” Woods said. “I’m going to do it differently this time. I am going to come back when I’m 100 percent ready, which is different for me.”
As far as a timetable for his return, Woods said that’s up his doctors, which is different from the past when Eldrick basically ignored his doctor’s advice and played through the injuries.
“It’s up to them and obviously my body and how it recovers,” Woods said. “Obviously we’re trying to push it every day and challenge my leg every day and see how it responds. And if it gets better, then we move progressively a bit further, and if it doesn’t, then we either stay there or take a step back. It’s just a progression. That’s obviously how rehab goes.”