For 683 weeks, Tiger Woods was the strongest, most captivating, and most talented golf player in the world. His time as the global number 1 hasn’t been matched or beaten and honestly, it might never. However when you look at Tiger now, he is a shadow of his former glory¬†and¬†though he doesn’t plan to keep it that way, that doesn’t mean that he’ll be able to. Woods is turning 40 on December 30th and and in the past three months since his last start, he has had back surgery twice. Obviously having so many intense surgeries in such a short amount of time is putting incredible strain on Tiger’s body, meaning he is going to need to take time off.

How much time is he taking off to heal and rehabilitate? This is where the issues becomes unfortunate, or at least more so than it already was — Woods has announced that he doesn’t know when he’s coming back. Since his two surgeries, he hasn’t even been able to begin the rehabilitation process and until that happens, he won’t be able to accurately judge how long it’ll take him to rejoin his peers and start climbing his way back up to the top of his field. While some are taking this to mean that his career is effectively over, world number 3, Rory Mcllroy, has been providing inspirational words of encouragement for his peer and idol to rejoin the sport.

Currently ranked number 400 in the world, Tiger will have a long hill to climb until he’s both back in shape for the game as well as at a place comparable to his previous highs. Since the issue has to do with nerves in his back, recovery is going to take significantly longer and depends entirely on how long it takes the nerve to heal itself and settle. Until then, Woods is playing video games and eagerly anticipating a time when he can get back on the course and work towards showing the world that he still deserves to be their number 1.

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