World No 3 Rory McIlroy has expressed his sympathy for golfing great Tiger Woods, who has announced that he is unsure when he will be able to return to the game.
Former World No 1 Woods is a 14-time Major winner but has struggled with injuries of late and announced on Tuesday that he has not yet been able to begin rehabilitation work following a pair of back operations.
He last played in a tournament over three months ago and, when asked at a press conference when he might return, he said: "I have no answer for that. Neither does my surgeon or my physio. There is no timetable.
"There is nothing I can look forward to, nothing I can build towards.
"Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? I don`t know."
There is now concern that Woods` glittering career may be over but McIlroy is hoping that does not turn out to be the case.
The Northern Irishman posted a photo of the pair together on Instagram, and wrote: "Wishing my idol and friend a speedy recovery. Golf without him doesn`t bear thinking about.
"Hope to see you back on the course soon @tigerwoods."
Woods, who turns 40 at the end of the year, spoke ahead of the Hero World Challenge, an 18-man tournament hosted by his foundation, which starts on Thursday.
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