The 27-year-old was forced to withdraw from this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship after undergoing an MRI scan in Dubai on Monday – a day after losing in a play-off to Graeme Storm at the BMW SA Open.
To be forced to miss this week through injury is really quite annoying
McIlroy almost withdrew from the SA Open on Friday morning due to what he thought was a back injury and, now that it has been diagnosed as a fractured rib, the four-time major winner could face up to six weeks out.
“To be forced to miss this week through injury is really quite annoying to be perfectly honest, but I am sure the tournament will be a huge success and I hope everyone involved has a great week,” he said.
“In situations like this you simply have to listen to the experts and the team I have consulted have all advised me to rest until my rib has fully recovered.”
You simply have to listen to the experts
McIlroy had been set for a hectic pre-Masters schedule and was expected to tee it up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic (February 2-5), Genesis Open (February 16-19), Honda Classic (February 23-26), WGC-Mexico Championship (March 2-5), Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 16-19) and WGC-Dell Match Play (March 22-26).
But the rib injury could be set to scupper that completely, although it is highly unlikely that the Northern Irishman will need surgery.
Sports injury website, SportsMD.com say: “The key is ‘relative rest’ which means don’t do anything that causes significant pain or discomfort.
“The goal is to let the rib rest so it can heal itself. If stress is continually placed on it, it never gets a chance to heal. This usually means a period of 4-6 weeks without throwing or weightlifting with the affected shoulder.
If stress is continually placed on it, it never gets a chance to heal
“Once there is no pain during regular activities, light lifting and throwing, or other sport specific activities, can be gradually added. But if pain recurs, then the athlete must back off again and give it more time.”
As of this morning, McIlroy was still listed in the field for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in two weeks’ time.