Steve Stricker says Tiger Woods is "antsy" to return to golf, with the former world number one pledging to play in 2017.
The former world number one and 14-time major champion has not played competitively since the Wyndham Championship last August, having undergone back surgery.
In March, Woods admitted he had "a lot of work ahead" before making a comeback.
Stricker - a former Ryder Cup team-mate of Woods - believes the 40-year-old will take things slowly despite his eagerness to return.
"I could see him just staying away this year. I had asked him if he's getting healthier and he says he is and he's antsy to get back," Stricker told Golf Live.
"But I think this time, he wants to take it a little bit slower and make sure that everything is okay with his back and he's healed and ready to go before he comes back.
"He produces so much force in that swing and the body can only take so much. So I'm sure he's just making sure that everything's okay before he comes back."
On Tuesday, the Tiger Woods Foundation was announced as the host of the PGA Tour's annual event at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles - staged every February - from 2017.
Woods made his PGA Tour debut at Riviera as a 16-year-old in 1992 and promised to take part in next year's event.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for my foundation," Woods said in a statement.
"This is the first PGA Tour event I ever played and it means a lot to contribute to a community that has supported me and my foundation for more than 20 years.
"I'm committed to playing in my foundation's events and it will be exciting to return to Riviera."