Tiger Woods faces a monumental challenge to get back to his best, according to nine-time major champion Gary Player.
Woods, whose career has been plagued by back problems in recent times, has not played a competitive tournament since last August's Wyndham Championship.
And he will be absent from Augusta this week after revealing on Saturday he is not physically ready to compete in The Masters.
The American's decision will raise further doubts as to whether he can get back to the kind of form that saw him win 14 majors - including four green jackets.
And Player, himself a three-time champion at Augusta, told Omnisport: "One man is never bigger than the game of golf. Throughout time there have been all these icons. Golf continues to go on. That's life.
"Obviously I would love to see Tiger Woods come back and play well. He was on the way to being the best player the world had ever seen before he had his problems.
"No one likes to see a man have problems. I hope he comes back and does well. He's got a monumental challenge ahead of him.
"We'll see what happens but I hope it turns out well for him."