Tiger Woods recently updated the golf world about his recovery from a fourth back surgery on his personal blog. Woods underwent the spinal fusion surgery shortly after the Masters which he missed for the third time in four years.

Long story short, Woods is steadfast on returning to professional golf and feels better than ever.

He was a lot more insightful than normal in his writing, and he seemed surprisingly optimistic about the future. 

It has been just over a month since I underwent fusion surgery on my back, and it is hard to express how much better I feel. It was instant nerve relief. I haven't felt this good in years.

I could no longer live with the pain I had. We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked. I had good days and bad days, but the pain was usually there, and I couldn't do much. Even lying down hurt. I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope. The process leading up to my decision to have surgery was exhaustive. I consulted with a specialist, and after weighing my options, that's when I decided to go to Texas to have surgery.

You mention the word 'fusion,' and it's scary. Other guys who have had fusions or disc replacements like Davis Love III, Retief Goosen, Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins and Dudley Hart … they have all come back and played. But more than anything, it made their lives better. That's the most important thing … that I can have a life again with my kids.

The word "fusion" is scary, but it has become pretty clear that the only path to a sustainable life (and possibly late career) was this one. This is actually as hopeful as I've been in a long time about Woods' long-term future.

As for returning to competitive golf, the long-term prognosis is positive. My surgeon and physiotherapist say the operation was successful. It's just a matter of not screwing up and letting it fuse. I'm walking and doing my exercises, and taking my kids to and from school. All I can do is take it day by day. There's no hurry. But, I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.

Woods turns 42 in December. He won't play golf before then. He might not even play in 2018. He said in his blog post that he won't even be able to twist his torso for 2-3 months. But there is at least a sliver of hope for those who want one last ride from one of the best ever.