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Woods' Masters hopes raised after medical check

updated 7:40 AM EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
American Tiger Woods has won 14 majors and has spent a total of 623 weeks at the top of the world rankings.
American Tiger Woods has won 14 majors and has spent a total of 623 weeks at the top of the world rankings.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods reveals his achilles injury is not as serious as first feared
  • The 14-time major winner will be able to resume hitting golf balls at the end of the week
  • The former world No. 1 limped out of the WGC Championship final round on Sunday
  • Woods should be fit to play at next month's Masters in Augusta, 2012's first major

(CNN) -- When Tiger Woods limped out of Sunday's final round of the WGC Cadillac Championship event, it looked as if the former world No. 1's Achilles heel had once again undermined his bid to regain top form.

Speculation was rife that Woods could miss the Masters at the start of next month. But the four-time winner at Augusta now looks likely to tee off at the golf year's opening major after revealing he has only suffered a minor strain to his left Achilles tendon.

The American used his official account on the micro-blogging website Twitter to announce his relief.

"Got good news from doc (sic) tonight. Only mild strain of left Achilles. Can resume hitting balls late in week and hopeful for next week."

The 14-time major winner rushed his recovery from a similar injury he sustained at the 2011 Masters, returning at the Players Championship just five weeks later only to withdraw after just nine holes.

Tiger Woods withdraws from event
Tiger Woods is back on track
Masters first-timers should arrive early

Injury forces Woods to withdraw

It led to a three-month layoff, and the 36-year-old said on Sunday wanted to avoid making a similar mistake this year. But he could make his return as early as next week, when he is scheduled to play at the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational in his home state Florida.

Woods has shown flashes of evidence that he is returning to the top of his game in recent months after struggling for form and fitness since details of his extramarital affairs emerged in November 2009, leading to his divorce.

He finished tied for third at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January and won the Chevron World Challenge, a tournament he hosts, in November.

Woods' recent form raised hopes he could clinch a first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open at the April 5-8 Masters, with golf fans also eagerly anticipating a showdown with new world No. 1 and U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy, 22, is the second-youngest player to reach the top of the world rankings, with only Woods reaching the mark at an earlier age.

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