Tiger Woods still does not know when he will return to competitive golf after admitting the rehabilitation process from surgery on a pinched nerve in his back is a "slow process", adding he'd like to be back "at some point this summer". 

In a blog released on his website, the current world number one also said of how hurt he was to miss his first Masters as a professional and congratulated Bubba Watson on claiming his second Green Jacket. 

The 14-time major winner has been absent from the game ever since the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral where he tied-25th despite being unable to bend over and pick his own ball out of the hole at one point. 

He said: "Missing my first Masters was tough, but I actually watched quite a bit of it because Freddie Couples was in contention. Once he got off to that bad start Sunday, it was not so much fun. 

"I was happy for Bubba Watson and want to congratulate him on winning his second green jacket."

Woods, 38, has been hampered by injuries before making him miss major championships, something he said helped make missing Augusta for the first time a lot easier. 

However, he did admit he would "be able to come back faster" having looked after himself physically over the years, although he is still sore from the microdiscectomy surgery last month. 

"I made the decision to have surgery because I physically couldn't make a golf swing. That pretty much sums it up. I'm still sore - not from the procedure itself, but the incision. 

"As for my return to golf, I really don't know. I'm doing everything I can, listening to my doctors and working on a strength program, and then we just have to see how my back is. 

"Some people heal in three months, some four, some take longer than that. I just don't know," he added. 

The Players' Championship at the infamous TPC Sawgrass kicks off this week but having won the tournament for the second time last year, it will be without its defending champion Woods.

While it undoubtedly attracts the best field of the year to Ponte Vedra Beach, Woods' absence from the game is having a detrimental effect on the audience viewing figures, so PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem will be eager to learn an exact date for the return of the sports main attraction. 

On a lighter note, Woods told of how he spent Spring Break in the Bahama's with his son Charlie and daughter Sam, where he was been practicing his putting by competing against his young boy. 

He joked: "We have a lot of putting contests. I can't bend down to pick the ball up out of the hole, so we sand-filled the holes so you can still putt to one. 

"When we were in the Bahama's, the greens were much slower and he almost beat me. If they're going to beat me, they have to earn it."

The 79-time PGA Tour winner concluded by talking about his two golfing projects - El Cardonal at Diamante Cabo San Lucas and Bluejack National near Houston - admitting he was thrilled at how they are turning out. 

But for the meantime, speaking of his return, he could only state: "As I've said several times, I hope to be back sometime this summer. 

"There's the Greenbrier, The Open Championship and of course the U.S. Open is about six weeks away. You can understand why I want to hurry up and get better - I'd also like to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup."

While it is positive to hear him talk of returning this season, there is still a long way to go in his recovery but, by the sounds of it, an appearance a major championship in 2014 may not be completely out of reach. 

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