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Woods says he's ready for action after surgery

Woods was speaking at press conference in Chiba, Japan on Monday (October 21) - his first since an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee on Aug. 21.

He left no doubt that he would be ready for Thursday's first round when the U.S.-based PGA Tour plays its first official-money event in Japan.

But he also revealed the knee had bothered him throughout his 2019 campaign, which famously included his Masters triumph, and that he had originally planned to have the surgery at the end of last year, before postponing it.

"I decided to not have the (knee) procedure done and tried to get through the rest of the year but it got progressively worse and got to the point where it was even affecting putts," he said. "You saw towards the end of the year that I wasn't quite getting down on my putts well."

The famously private Woods was typically vague about when he had started practicing again after the procedure, the fifth on his banged up left knee.

This week's tournament at Narashino Country Club will be 43-year-old American's final chance to assess his form and fitness before deciding whether to include himself as a player on the United States team that he will captain at the Presidents Cup.

He said that getting the surgery done had improved the chances he can justify picking himself for the Dec. 12-15 event against an International team at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

Woods has two more weeks before naming four wild card selections to complete his 12-man line-up.

He told the press conference that he would love to play in the Olympics.

"My Dad and I, in '84... Long Beach is right down the street from our house and right next to El Dorado and so we went to the archery games (at Los Angeles 1984) so I got a chance to experience the Olympics at a very early age," he said. "Right now I am ninth in the world rankings and hopefully next year I can have a good year, qualify and represent my country."

Woods was speaking before a Monday afternoon Japan Skins made-for-TV exhibition with Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day.

It is his first appearance in Japan in 13 years, after being a regular visitor for the first decade of his professional career.