Golf: Tiger Woods' agent slams reports of setback as 'false'

Tiger Woods hits a shot during a practice round for the 2015 Masters Golf Tournament on April 7, 2015.
Tiger Woods hits a shot during a practice round for the 2015 Masters Golf Tournament on April 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Tweets indicating Tiger Woods has suffered a serious setback in his return from a third back surgery are "absolutely false" the 14-time Major golf champion's agent Mark Steinberg said Monday.

Twitter posts from two different handles - one of them longtime golf writer Robert Lusetich - suggest that the 40-year-old superstar's rehabilitation was not going well and that his condition had deteriorated.

"The tweets that appeared this weekend about Tiger's health are ridiculous, and absolutely false," Steinberg said in a statement. "It's reprehensible that every few months someone makes something up and it's treated like a real story.

"Tiger continues to work on his rehabilitation and we will have an accurate update at the appropriate time."

According to the Twitter handle Secret Tour Pro, Woods was eyeing a return to golf in May at the Players Championship in Florida but that plan has been scrapped due to the lack of progress with his health.

Lusetich posted in a tweet: "I'm told #TigerWoods condition worsened. He can't move well; painful to sit. Sits in car with seat fully reclined. No forseeable return. Sad."

As recently as last Friday, Steinberg told ESPN there was no update on Woods' status.

Woods hasn't played competitively since August, when he tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship.

The American, who turned 40 in December, had microdiscectomy surgery on March 31. 2014 to treat a herniated disc.

He underwent a second procedure on Sept 16 last year to deal with a disc fragment that was pinching a nerve, and six weeks later underwent another procedure to address continuing discomfort.

He said during the World Challenge tournament he hosted in December that there was no timetable for his return, telling reporters: "Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? I don't know."

Woods' 14 Major titles - the last won in 2008 - are four shy of Jack Nicklaus' record of 18. He owns 79 PGA Tour victories, three off the career best held by Sam Snead, the most recent coming at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational in 2013 - one of five wins for him that season.