The guessing game continues. Just when will Tiger Woods return to competitive action, if he returns at all? Well, your guess is as good as mine. And my guess is not very good so that means your guess can’t be great either. It seems it’s anybody’s guess … and everybody is having a guess.

At the weekend, one report suggested that Woods was “unlikely” to play in April’s Masters due to on-going complications with his dodgy back although this was a Tiger tale refuted by the former world No 1’s agent. “How he could know something that Tiger and I don’t know is comical,” said Mark Steinberg. Yesterday, though, Woods continued to keep all and sundry guessing when he spoke of his determination to be fit for the opening major of the men’s season at Augusta National.

Asked if he will get the chance to play in an event he has won four times down the years, Woods replied: “God, I hope so.”

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The 14-time major winner, who won his first Green Jacket 20 years ago in 1997, has not played since he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February with a crippling back spasms. In the weeks that have passed, there have been downbeat stories of the 41-year-old being confined to barracks with an injury that has caused him so much grief, doctors advised him to “stay horizontal.”

The prognosis didn’t sound encouraging but Woods is doing his best to keep himself geed up.

"I'm trying, I'm trying everything extra to be able to get back and play,” said Woods. "I love that event. It's meant so much to me in my life. It was the first major that I ever played, back in '95. It has so much history and meaning to me, I'd love to get back. I need to get back physically. I know that the mind is sharp, I just need to get the body willing to do it."

After his Dubai withdrawal, Woods subsequently pulled out of the Genesis Open, the Honda Classic and last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.

If he doesn’t make the Masters, it will be the second year in a row he has failed to make Augusta while missing his fifth consecutive major.