London, Dec.13 (ANI): An anguished Tiger Woods is likely to return to golf sooner rather than later, according to those who are closest to him.
His absence is likely to end "within a few months", The Times quoted sources familiar with the world No 1's problems.
The sense that his time away from the sport is likely to be relatively short comes as media experts poured scorn on the suggestion that the scandal concerning his marital infidelities would affect his earning power.
Britain's foremost PR guru, Max Clifford, told The Sunday Times last night: "Already people are clamoring for him to come back. His first event is going to be one of the most watched golf tournaments in history."
Senior figures within his management agency IMG said the prospect of Woods not returning to golf was "unthinkable".
One said: "I can't see him being away for more than a few months. It goes without saying, his family comes first, but Tiger was born to play golf."
Another source at IMG said: "Golf has dealt with a prolonged Tiger absence before, when he was recovering from reconstruction surgery to his knee. There's no denying that it hurt the game. TV ratings were down, live attendances were down."
Woods' biggest endorsement deal is with Nike, worth 20 million dollars a year. A spokeswoman said yesterday: "He is the best golfer in the world, and one of the greatest of his era. We look forward to his return to golf. He and his family have Nike's full support."
Clifford argued that Woods' decision to take a break from golf "is the first positive step in what's been a public relations disaster". (ANI)