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LOS ANGELES — Eight months after winning the U.S. Open on one good leg, a healthy Tiger Woods is returning to golf.

Woods said on his Web site Thursday that he will defend his title next week in the Accenture Match Play Championship, believing his reconstructed left knee and his game are good enough to win.

“I’m now ready to play again,” Woods said.

The Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz., begins Wednesday.

Players whom Woods has beaten so often while compiling 65 victories were happy to hear he was coming back.

“He was ready to go weeks ago,” Stuart Appleby said at Riviera. “I don’t think he needs to do a couple of laps around the track. He’ll be on that horse and he’ll be whipping it.”

The timing for Woods to end his 253-day break from competition could not be better for the PGA Tour, which has seen television ratings plunge after the world’s No. 1 player had to miss the second half of the season, including two majors and the Ryder Cup.

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