When will Tiger Woods return to golf?

These are the clothes Tiger Woods will be wearing for a while. (Getty Images)
These are the clothes Tiger Woods will be wearing for a while. (Getty Images)

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Obviously any speculation about when Tiger Woods will return is just that, speculation.

Because all athletes are different and all surgeries are not exactly the same, there's no true timetable for when he could come back to golf.

Woods' website said on Tuesday that he "could begin chipping and putting, after assessment by his doctors, in three weeks."

Well, I supposed he could begin putting on Friday. Or Sunday. Or next Tuesday.

It also said that the "goal is for Tiger to resume playing sometime this summer."

That's vague, on purpose, so let's look at a few other places for an assessment.

We talked to Ben Wedro of MDDirect.org about the surgery and what to expect for the future with Woods. He confirmed the 4-6 month recovery time.

"Everybody is a little bit different," said Wedro. "The goal is for the person to be able to return to what they were doing before the surgery,at the level they were doing it at. The recovery time is different for everyone but if a professional athlete would hope to return to the level that they were at before surgery" 

My guess was that Woods would be back for the British Open (because he's an exceptional athlete) which is in a little over three months. Wedro had a different idea.

"His time frame is probably looking like the PGA Championship."

So more like four months.

There's actually another golfer who had an extremely similar surgery. Geoff Shackelford detailed Graham DeLaet's microdiscectomy here.

DeLaet, who had surgery in January 2011 said the recovery time was longer than the proposed one for Woods.

"It was at the two-month mark where I started hitting little chips and putts and half-wedges, kind of thing. By the time -- it wasn't probably until November (11 months after the surgery) that I could really like go after a drive as hard as I could, or really lash at one in the deep rough kind of thing."

If that's the case then we might be looking at a Tiger-less major season in 2014 because Woods won't risk blowing a surgery just to come back for the PGA Championship.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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