Rory McIlroy, the current No. 1 golfer in the world, injured his left ankle while playing soccer this week, leaving his ability to defend his title at the British Open next week unsure.
McIlroy, 21, posted a photo to his Instagram and Twitter pages on Monday, showing him on crutches with a walking boot on his left ankle. The caption that accompanied the photo said he suffered a “total rupture” of a ligament in his ankle.
“Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends on Saturday. Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started… Working hard to get back as soon as I can.”
Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout… https://t.co/xpfDpsW38k
— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) July 6, 2015
Sean O’Flaherty, Rory’s spokesman, said he is definitely out of the Scottish Open, which starts Thursday at Gullane, but McIlroy will not know until the end of the week if he will attend the British Open on July 16, according to the Associated Press.
Fans were looking forward to the matchup between the No. 1 player, McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old heartthrob from Texas who won the Masters and U.S. Open, but may find themselves disappointed.
According to AFP, McIlroy won his first British Open crown at Hoylake last July, and then went on to win the PGA Championship, his fourth major.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 6, 2015
Rory lost out for a clean sweep of all four major titles at the Masters in April by placing fourth behind Jordan Spieth, which has spurred a McIlroy-Spieth rivalry that thrills fans.
Former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance said he was taken by surprise by the news on Monday when asked by reporters as he made his way into Wimbledon to watch the day’s tennis action.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it but I’m in complete shock: that’s a big blow to (the Open) if he misses it. That’s obviously bad news and I’d just wish him all the best and hope he can make a quick recovery.”
— Brett Blair (@allgolftoday) July 6, 2015
It is unclear how long Rory McIlroy will be sidelined by the injury, but these types of injuries can take weeks or even months to heal fully.
Ian Bayley, a retired orthopaedic surgeon, told BBC Radio 5 live as follows.
“It sounds as though they’re treating it conservatively and letting nature heal it. It’s got to be held immobile in this cast for six weeks, but as soon as he can put weight on it enough to actually play then he should be able to play. It will probably heal perfectly well, he’ll just put it down to experience.”
Best wishes for Rory McIlroy and a speedy recovery.
[Photo via Instagram / Rory McIlroy]