Tiger Woods returns from counseling

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Tiger Woods is back at home after a week of family counseling in Arizona and is trying to get into a routine that includes golf and fitness, a person with knowledge of his schedule said today.

Woods returned to his home near Orlando on Saturday and has been hitting balls on the range at Isleworth, not far from where he ran his car into a tree in a middle-of-the-night accident on November 27 that set off revelations of his extramarital affairs.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because only Woods is authorised to release information about his schedule, said there was still no timetable for golf's No. 1 player to return to competition.

Woods was photographed hitting golf balls at Isleworth on February 18, the day before he ended nearly three months of silence by speaking to a small group of associates in a 13-minute statement that was televised around the world. Those photos of Woods were arranged to counter the paparazzi trying to follow his every move.

Woods has not practiced in earnest since winning the Australian Masters in Melbourne on November 15 for his 82nd victory worldwide.

News of him getting back into a routine is sure to begin speculation when he might return to the U.S. PGA Tour. Woods announced on December 4 that he was taking an "indefinite break" to try to salvage his marriage.

"I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be," Woods said on February 19 in his statement at Sawgrass. "I don't rule out that it will be this year."

Woods said he was leaving the next day for more therapy, without saying what kind. The person who spoke to The Associated Press said he went to Arizona for a week of family and marriage counseling with his wife, Elin.

Woods said at Sawgrass of his infidelity, "As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss; however, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us."

Woods is not likely to play next week in the World Golf Championship at Doral, where he has won three times.

His next possibility on the PGA Tour is the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he is the defending champion and a six-time winner. The Masters, which Woods has played every year since 1995, would follow. Augusta National officials have not indicated whether they expect Woods to compete.

"When he does come back, I hope it's in the Masters, and I hope he's in great form," Masters champion Angel Cabrera said on Tuesday on a conference call.

The fallout from Woods' sex scandal has been immense. He already has had three sponsors drop him — Accenture, AT&T and, most recently, Gatorade — while other companies like Gillette have suspended promotions of Woods while he takes his break from golf.

When he does return, he will have a different logo on his golf bag, replacing AT&T, if he can find a deal.