Steve Stricker plans to return from back surgery at the Masters next week.

He has not played since the Hero World Challenge in early December. He had surgery two days before Christmas on a bulging disk in his lower back that was causing recurring hip problems.

Stricker recently returned from a week in Naples, Florida, to make sure he was fit. He tells The Associated Press on Monday he spent the last three days walking the golf course and felt good except for a little stiffness. He had planned to play the Shell Houston Open. Doctors feared two weeks in a row might be too much.

He plans a trip to Augusta National before going to Indianapolis to watch Wisconsin play Kentucky on Saturday in the Final Four.