Golf will benefit from the return of 14-time major winner Tiger Woods regardless of his playing level, insists Paul McGinley.
Woods has been out of action with a back injury requiring three operations since August 2015 but was due to make his competitive return at the Safeway Open this week.
However, the 40-year-old withdrew from the competition on Monday and delayed his comeback until December at the earliest, citing vulnerabilities in his game.
McGinley, Europe's Ryder Cup-winning captain in 2014, has no doubt Woods' eventual return will benefit the sport, even if he is unable to reach the heights that established him as one of the best players in history.
He told Omnisport: "The one thing you learn about Tiger is to never rule him out of anything. He's proved so many times in his career that he can handle so many different situations, and this is a tough situation no doubt.
"Coming back from injury, being out of the game for a year, the game moves on, the quality of players moves on, and even as a great player like Tiger was, people have moved away from him dominating the sport. So he is in a difficult place.
"I certainly would love to see him coming back, we all want to. It's a shame he's not coming back this week, but I certainly look forward to seeing him come back. Even if he doesn't reach the standards he did in the past, that doesn't mean we don't want him back.
"He's a figurehead for the game, he's got so much to offer, so many insights that everybody would love to hear. Even if he comes back and he does play a different level, the game would be a better place if that was the case."
McGinley believes Woods set the benchmark in modern golf and opened the door for the sport to develop and reach new heights.
"He's [cast] a huge shadow over the game, and a positive shadow for the standards he achieved. I think a lot of the way the game is played at the moment, a lot of the dedication, a lot of the fitness and ability to perform under pressures has come from Tiger," added McGinley.
"He broke down barriers and I think a lot of the current players realise that things can be achieved that they mightn't have thought before when they saw Tiger doing it.
"He's very much led the way and a lot of the success of where the modern game is at the moment can be attributed to what Tiger has achieved and how he went about his sport."
Paul McGinley was speaking on behalf of Taylor Made. For more information on TaylorMade Golf, please visit www.taylormadegolf.com