MIAMI (AFP) - World number one Tiger Woods is suffering from a bulging disc in his back that will not require surgery, Golfweek magazine reported on Thursday on its website.
Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, withdrew on Tuesday due to back spasms from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his typical fine warm-up event for next month's Masters and one that he has won eight times.
According to the report, which cited an unnamed source, the news was actually better for Woods than if he had suffered a ruptured disc, which likely would have required an operation.
Mark Steinberg, the agent for Woods, told ESPN after the report that "nothing has changed since the announcement on Tuesday," adding that Woods was resting and would be evaluated again in the next few days.
Woods has never missed the Masters since winning his first major title there in 1997. He was won four green jackets but has not taken the title at Augusta National since 2005.
"It's too early to know about the Masters, and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors," Woods said Tuesday.
Woods has played four events this year, with his best showing a share of 25th at the World Golf Championships event at Doral where he was visibly bothered with back pain during a final-round 78.
A week earlier, he withdrew from the Honda Classic in the final round due to back spasms.
Woods has not won a major title since the 2008 US Open and has not broken 70 on the weekend at a major since the 2011 Masters.