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Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 09:41 UK

Woods 'not fully fit' until 2010

Tiger Woods
Woods missed the Ryder Cup at Valhalla in Kentucky in September

Tiger Woods has predicted that it will be another 18 months before he is fully recovered from knee surgery.

Woods, 32, is recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and has not played since his dramatic US Open victory at Torrey Pines in June.

And the world number one predicts he will not be able to swing a golf club until January at the earliest.

"Over the next 18 months (the knee) will gain 100% strength, so it's a two-year process," said Woods.

"The healing process for an ACL is six months. No matter what I try to do, I can't speed up that process. That puts me into January. Unfortunately, I can't rotate, I can't practice on that leg until then.

"I believe the stat is after six months, the ACL is 85% in strength."

606: DEBATE

The 32-year-old underwent his fourth operation on his left knee two days after beating Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines to secure his 14th major title.

Woods, who won nine victories in 12 official events this year, said he was at the peak of his powers before surgery and was determined to compete at the highest level once he returned to health in 2009.

"I think I played better in this stretch that I have at any time in my career," said Woods, whose 65 career PGA Tour victories sees him trail only Jack Nicklaus (73) and Sam Snead (82).

"I may have won more major championships, but I certainly have never been in contention in as many events, or won as many events in a row. I had a pretty good run."

In July, Dr Thomas Rosenberg, one of the two surgeons who operated on Woods, said it was "highly unlikely" Woods's career would suffer any long-term effects.


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