Rory McIlroy has issued a statement playing down a heart irregularity after what he described as a 'big reaction' to the news in the media.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the four-time major winner revealed that doctors had discovered an irregularity dating back to a viral infection he had in China in 2016.
"I have a flat T-wave and I'll have to get an echo[cardiogram] on my heart every six months and an MRI scan every year," he said. "I suffered a really bad viral infection in China 18 months ago and they told me that's the reason that I have this thickening of my left ventricle and there's a bit of scar tissue.
"For now, I just need to stay on top of it and have to stay fit. Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway."
The article was published yesterday evening and, after waking up in the Middle East - he gets his year underway at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship next week after four months out - he was concerned by the reaction, prompting the following statement on Instagram.
"It's really not that of a big deal and nothing to worry about, apart from getting an annual check up, like you should do anyway," McIlroy reassured his 1.4 million followers on the social media platform.
"I feel there's been a big reaction to it in the media which there really shouldn't be. I'm fit and healthy and can't wait to get my 2018 season started in Abu Dhabi next week."