GOLF: Jason Day says good friend Tiger Woods will not be back on the PGA Tour until next year.
The former world No.1 had mooted a return for last week's Safeway tournament in California before heading off for next month's Turkish Open but pulled out of both events.
A long-term back problem has kept Woods off the circuit for more than a year and Day said he wasn't sure when the 14-time major winner would come back.
"He saw Phil Mickelson playing well at the (British) Open Championship, and that got him going,” the Australian said.
"But he knows he can't push it.
"I never really had any faith in him coming back this year.
"The state of his game, I'm not sure.
"His back is so sore. I think we'll see him sometime next year, but I'm not sure when.”
Day, who has been struggling with a back problem himself for the past few months, said fans might never get to see Woods dominate as he did in the past.
"The game is so tight with how competitive it is and how hard it is to win,” the world No.1 said.
"I don't think winning is going to come as easily as it was for him back in the past.”
Woods has not won since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Day said it would be tough for Woods to try to return to the form that helped him to dominate the game in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
"I think the hardest thing for him is just to try and get the rust out and really get back to game-ready sharpness, which is obviously a difficult thing to do,” he said.
"Although we're expecting big things, I don't expect too much from him, even though he is Tiger Woods.
"I'm looking forward to seeing him play again, seeing what the state of his game is.
"There's been a couple of times where I feel like he may have come back too soon and kind of injured himself a little bit more and that's what's kept him out of the game so long.”