tiger woods
Christian Petersen/Getty

Tiger Woods is getting ready to play at the 2016 Hero World
Challenge on Thursday, his first tournament since the 2015
Wyndham Championships.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Woods discussed at length his
absence from the game as he recovered from back surgeries and
what he’s anticipating as he returns to the PGA tour.

In particular, Woods detailed how strenuous his return has been,
noting that for a while, he couldn’t even get out of bed.

“I just couldn’t get out of bed,” Woods said. “I needed help. It
was a tough, tough time. Yeah, you ask me then, could I play? No,
I can’t even get out of bed, how am I supposed to swing a club at
120 miles per hour?”

Woods also spoke about dropping out of the Safeway Classic in
October and how it gave him extra time to better prepare
himself for his return. In doing so, he also shared an anecdote
that shows just how long he’s been sidelined.

“On top of that, it also gave me a few more months to get
stronger and get my practice schedule up. [Woods’ caddy] Joey
[LaCava] has come down a couple times and we played and we
walked. And I hate to say it, but, I mean, you can walk and you
can cycle, I was riding my bike at home 30, 50, and 70 miles per
week on these rides. Okay, that’s different than walking a golf
course. I can walk on a treadmill for two, three hours — it’s not
the same. Putting on spikes and uneven lines, my ankles are sore.
My feet are sore. This is different. And so I had to get used to
that.”

Woods said LaCava was also sore from carrying Woods’ bag around
the course.

If anything, Woods being sore from wearing spikes and walking
around the course should temper expectations for his return.
Being sore isn’t unusual, given the intense procedures he’s
undergone during his absence, but there are aspects of a golfer’s
performance we take for granted, such as walking. He may really
feel the length of his absence after he swings his clubs a couple
hundred times.

Woods said his goal is to win the tournament, but also is keeping
his return in perspective, noting that shooting 25-under, as
Bubba Watson did at last year’s Hero World Challenge, will be a
“tall order.”