Tiger Woods has said he will continue to play for as long as he thinks he can still win as he prepares to return to professional golf.

Woods will play in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas having not played since injury forced him to withdraw from the Masters in April.

The 15-time major winner then had fusion surgery on a bone in his ankle.

“There will come a time when I can no longer win. When that time comes, I will walk away,” Woods said.

“I love to compete. I love the camaraderie, being around the guys.”

The 47-year-old American said earlier this month he had “zero issues” with his surgically repaired right ankle, which was done to address post-traumatic arthritis following the 2021 car crash that side lined him for nearly 14 months. However, he indicated that other injury problems remain.

“The only way to fix that was to replace it or have it fused,” Woods said of his ankle. “The next part is the hard part. The six months of doing nothing. The first couple months were really rough – I’m here on the good side now.”

The five-time Masters champion has struggled to walk 18 holes since but, after he was seen caddying for his son Charlie at the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship earlier this month, he has decided the time is right to return to action.

“I was hitting golf balls a lot trying to get Charlie ready for the event. Then, post-event, I thought, ‘I can probably do this,'” Woods said.

“I’ve played a lot of holes. I haven’t used a pencil and a scorecard.

“My game feels rusty. I haven’t played in a while. I’m excited to compete and play. I’m just as curious as all of you are to see what happens.

“I can tell you this, I don’t have any of the pain I had in Augusta in my ankle. Other parts are taking the brunt of the load. But that surgery was a success.”

The tournament, a 20-player invitational event which will also include Justin Rose, Scottie Scheffler, Matt Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland, begins on Thursday in Albany, The Bahamas.

Woods said he hopes to play one tournament per month in 2024 and that this event will help to determine his schedule for next season.