Woods & # 039; recovery from an operation & # 039; ahead of schedule & # 039;

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Tiger Woods (right) and Rory McIlroy (left) played with former rugby internationals Brian O & # 39; Driscoll (second left) and Mike Tindall (second right) at The Challenge: Japan Skins in Chiba on Monday

Tiger Woods said his return to full fitness is ahead of schedule when he recovers from knee surgery.

World number 10, which ended an 11-year waiting period for its 15th major in April, was operated arthroscopically in August to repair cartilage damage.

The 43-year-old American is now in Japan to play in the inaugural ZOZO championship of the US PGA Tour.

"I am probably a week early," he said. "It was nice to be able to squat and read putts."

Woods added: "My season had ended a little earlier than I had expected. I had the procedure a little earlier and was ahead of it."

Prior to the ZOZO Championship, starting Thursday, Woods competed with Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama at The Challenge: Japan Skins.

The practice match – where players compete for holes for between $ 10,000- $ 100,000 (£ 7,700- £ 77,000) – was staged at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, which is the same location as the ZOZO championship later in the week.

Woods plans to close his year by playing in the Hero World Challenge on December 4-7 before becoming the US captain in the Presidential Cup.

He may use one of his four captain choices for the match against Ernie Els & international team in Royal Melbourne from December 13.

"I thought there was enough time to correctly rehabilitate and be ready for this event, to be ready for Hero, and I am going to Australia anyway, whether I play or not," said Woods.

"It [his recovery] made me more hopeful that I could play Hero and Australia this week. As I felt in the middle of the year, it would be quite a task to be able to do it all."

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