Tiger Woods is cautious about a return to action following knee surgery after his courageous US Open win in June.

Woods, with 14 Majors to his name – speaking in a video conference to announce the field for his Chevron World Challenge – remains philosophical.

“The healing process for an ACL is six months. No matter what I try to do, I can’t speed up that process,” he said.

“That puts me into January. Unfortunately, I can’t rotate, I can’t practice on that leg until then.

“I believe the stat is after six months, the ACL is 85 percent in strength, and then over the next year-and-a-half, it will gain its 100 percent strength. So it’s basically a two-year process.”

During his absence Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas have emerged as potential threats to his dominance, which bodes well for an entertaining 2009 should Woods remain on track for a springtime reappearance.