Tiger Woods hopes to be fit to play the Masters again this year but the 15-time major champion is not taking anything for granted following his latest back surgery. (More Sports News)
Woods' long-standing back issue has required five procedures, most recently a microdiscectomy in December to alleviate nerve pain.
The 45-year-old has had a mixed record with managing the injury in recent years.
Woods claimed a long-awaited fifth green jacket at Augusta National in 2019 but has missed the cut at three of the six majors since then.
He now faces a race simply to enter the Masters in 2021, which begins on April 8.
"I'm feeling fine, a little stiff," Woods, a host at PGA Tour event the Genesis Invitational, told CBS on Sunday. "I've got one more MRI scheduled and then I can start doing more activities.
"I'm still in the gym doing rehab activities before gravitating towards more."
Woods was asked specifically about appearing at Augusta but, given his repeated problems with his back, he appears unwilling to take any risks.
"God, I hope so," he said of playing. "But I've got to get there first. I don't have much wiggle room left. I've got only one back."
Woods has played only three events this season, most recently the 2020 Masters, delayed until last November due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Then the defending champion, Woods finished in a tie for 38th.