Tiger Woods is giving up golf for swimming and a stationary bike, part of rehabilitation from knee surgery that will force him to take the longest break of his pro career.
Woods had surgery last week in Park City, Utah, to remove fluid around ligaments in his left knee and to remove a benign cyst. He has spent a week on his back and said, ''It's driving me crazy.''
''I can only sit still for so long and can't wait to get back on my feet, hopefully by the end of the week,'' Woods said Wednesday in his monthly newsletter on www.tigerwoods.com.
Woods had a benign tumor removed from the same knee in 1994, but he said that wasn't related to the pain he felt throughout this year.
He first mentioned his ailing knee at the Tour Championship, then treated it with ice and anti-inflammatory drugs. Woods tweaked it again by hitting a sharp hook from an uphill lie in the rough at his Target World Challenge, and decided it was time to get it fixed.
''The bottom line is, I just got tired of playing in pain every day, all day, and decided to take care of it,'' he said. ''The doctors have assured me everything went well, but you don't really know until you actually begin rehabilitation.''
He plans to miss the season-opening Mercedes Championships in Hawaii, and probably won't return until the Buick Invitational, which starts Feb. 13 at Torrey Pines.
''I really don't have an exact timetable for returning to competition,'' he said. ''I might not play again until February, which would be the longest break I've ever had in golf. In some ways, I'm looking forward to it.
''The more time I take off, the better my knee will be.''
He never has taken more than five weeks off since turning pro in 1996. This break could last up to nine weeks.
Woods also said the PGA Tour has fined his caddie, Steve Williams, for dropping a spectator's camera in the pond at the Skins Game.
The fan clicked the camera -- said to be worth $7,000 -- as Woods was hitting a bunker shot on the 18th hole with a $200,000 skin on the line.
Woods previously said he would pay any fine.
''I know it's a touchy situation, but Stevie and I were both hot,'' Woods said. ''Stevie realizes he overreacted, but the bottom line is no cameras were allowed and the guy shouldn't have been inside the ropes.''
He said while fans are an integral part of the PGA Tour, ''they also have a responsibility to treat players with respect and allow us to do our jobs.
''Hopefully, everyone will learn from this incident.''
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