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Just give me time to see what this body can and can’t do, says Tiger Woods

• Former world No1 returns in Hero World Challenge after spinal-fusion surgery
• ‘Every time I bent over I had pain down my leg and my foot didn’t work”

As Tiger Woods prepares for a competitive comeback that will be the most eagerly anticipated round of this golfing year, he has painted a stark – plus uncharacteristically detailed – picture of his recent traumas.

The 14-times major champion’s fourth surgery, a back fusion, has cured what Woods described on Tuesday as crippling pain. Nonetheless, and sensibly given the context, the 41-year-old has called for patience as a watching world wonders whether he can even partly replicate past glories. With his charity foundation a key beneficiary, Woods will play in the Hero World Challenge from Thursday. It will be his first competition appearance since early February and that lasted only 18 holes as injury took hold.

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