Soon after news broke that Tiger Woods had withdrawn from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Friday, his manager Mark Steinberg spoke to reporters to clear the air and specify the reason for his pulling out.
Q: What happened to Tiger (Woods)?
Mark Steinberg: Felt okay coming off the golf course yesterday (Thursday). So he wasn’t in pain. Had dinner last night, I didn’t see him at dinner but said he was okay. He went into a spasm in his lower back, fairly late last night after dinner.
He tried to work it out last night. It didn’t really get it worked out. Had treatment starting pretty early this morning, for probably the past three-and-half hours, and he can’t get the spasm out. He says it’s not the nerve pain that’s kept him out for so long. He says it’s a back spasm and he just can’t get the spasm to calm down. So that’s where we are. It feels terrible. He talked to Matthew (Fitzpatrick) and Danny (Willett) --- his tee-off partners --- it feels awful, and he feels terrible for the tournament.
Q: Can he move?
Steinberg: Oh, yeah, he can move around. He can’t make a full rotation on the swing.
Q: Is this something that’s been happening over the last few months, as well, off and on?
Steinberg: Yeah, I mean, I think spasms are a funny thing. I’m certainly no doctor but they come and go. Again, the fact that he feels as though it’s not the nerve pain, that’s very encouraging for him.
Q: What is the treatment now? What does he do from here?
Steinberg: He’s got to get the spasm to calm down from what I gather. He has his trainer here, which is good, and that’s who has been working on him for the past several hours.
Forget about the long term; the short-term prognosis is he hopes he’ll be strong; based on the fact that it’s not that nerve pain I just alluded to.
Q: Did he have any issues with this last week?
Steinberg: No. Not that I’m aware.
Q: Sort of came out nowhere?
Steinberg: It did. Like I said, I think he talked to you guys right when he got off the course yesterday, and said no pain. Just not great play. I saw him before he went to dinner last night, no pain. It’s just one of those where it just happened. I’m not aware of anything last week, at all, or yesterday during the round.
Q: The long flight, is that any issue, do you think?
Steinberg: I’m sure there are so many different factors that could play into it. I just couldn’t know what causes a back to go into a spasm. Look, he doesn’t have the strongest back in the world, right. So it’s probably easier to spasm because of the issues he’s had. But he wanted to be here. He wants to be here. He just feels terrible that he can’t.