Tiger Woods was forced by back pain to withdraw from the Honda Classic. (Sam Greenwood / Getty Images)

Tiger Woods is back on the golf course, doing light chipping and putting as he rehabs from back surgery.

No one is more aware than Woods, who hasn’t played since the WGC Cadillac Championship in early March, that three of golf’s majors this year are on courses on which he has won a major in the past. If he is to top Jack Nicklaus’ record for wins in majors, he has to take advantage of every opportunity — and he’s already missed the Masters.

“He’s getting to the point of light chipping and putting and the doctors and trainers seem to be pleased with where he is,” his agent, Marc Steinberg, told ESPN. “He is on schedule, but we don’t know what that schedule means. I don’t know when he intends to be playing competitively.

“But I expect it to be this summer. I know that’s a wide range, but as the weeks go by we’ll be able to pinpoint an approximate time. It’s still a little early for that. Nothing that has gone on from the day of the surgery until today gives me any pause to amend what I said then. I know that’s broad and vague but we can’t pinpoint a specific time until we’re further along.”

Woods, 38, underwent a microdisectomy March 31 to relieve pain caused by a pinched nerve that had caused him to get off to the worst start of his career. Since winning his 14th and most recent major at the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods has missed five majors because of knee surgery and injuries to his elbow, neck, Achilles’, back and knee. Steinberg told USA Today that Woods’s pain disappeared almost immediately after surgery and he’s pacing his recovery even as the U.S. Open, which starts June 12 at Pinehurst, draws closer.

“I see him being a little more patient this time around, which is great to see,” Steinberg said. “He’s making some pretty responsible decisions. He definitely has his eye on this [rehab], and it makes no sense to rush a comeback by one, two, three, even four or five weeks. This is about the next 10, 15 years, and he knows what he needs to do.

” … He’s with [his] kids and it is killing him that he can’t do what he normally does with the kids. It’s also killing him that he can’t swing a golf club and win tournaments. It doesn’t sit well when he can’t do what he wants to do.”

Everyone, it seems, is healing. Woods is watching his kids play tee ball and his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, and his girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn, reportedly are now close.