Tiger Woods' goals seem a lot more modest after another back surgery

Sporting News
Woods told police he had just returned from a golf trip to Los Angeles, but officers said he appeared "confused."

Tiger Woods was asleep at wheel, police say

Woods told police he had just returned from a golf trip to Los Angeles, but officers said he appeared "confused."

After his fourth back surgery since April 2014, Tiger Woods is focused on one thing: returning to a "healthy, active lifestyle," his agent says.

That doesn't exactly sound like, "He'll be back on the PGA Tour."

Woods announced Thursday that he had fusion surgery the day before, with the aim to alleviate pain in his lower back and leg, as well as muscle spasms.

Calling the latest surgery "dramatically different" from the previous three, agent Mark Steinberg, in an interview on The Golf Channel, said Woods was seeking a more permanent improvement in his overall quality of life.

"He is looking forward to life without pain, looking forward to day-to-day without pain," Steinberg said. "He's looking forward to playing with his kids without pain, playing golf without pain. He knows he's got a long road, but there's a huge sense of relief right now."

Again, playing golf and playing competitive golf at its highest level are different things.

Woods has won 14 majors, four short of Jack Nicklaus' career record, but he turned 41 in December. Doctors estimate his recovery from this surgery could take up to six months.

MORE: Tiger Woods' back forces him out of Masters | Tiger Woods announces he underwent another back surgery

Steinberg said that while Woods hopes to return to competition, that now is only part of the equation.

"His entire emphasis is quality of life and a healthy, active lifestyle," he said. "That includes living day-to-day pain-free, playing with his kids, playing competitive golf, going out in the backyard and having fun with his friends. Getting on his boat and doing what he wants in the water. It's all of that. Living a healthy, active lifestyle is absolutely the priority, and kids and golf and social and all of that's a part of it."

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