Less than two weeks before he was due to mount a defence of his Open crown, world number one Rory McIlroy has picked up an injury that looks almost certain to force him to miss the tournament.
26-year-old McIlroy posted this to his 577,000 Instagram followers:
Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends on Saturday. Continuing to asses extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started….. Working hard to get back as soon as I can.
McIlroy picked up the injury while playing football with friends on Saturday.
Here’s a video of him playing football with Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan.
McIlroy was one of the strong favourites to triumph at St Andrews, but now looks as though he’ll miss the tournament – and possibly the rest of the season. Depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time can be from six to eight weeks, to as much as six to 12 months.
With world number two Jordan Spieth chasing the third leg of a possible 2015 clean sweep, the absence of McIlroy at St Andrews will help him no end.
Dr. James Gladstone, co-director of sports medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York told Golf Channel in the US that the recovery time depends on the severity of the sprain, but the general timetable is between 10 days and six weeks. The Open starts in 10 days.
A spokeswoman for McIlroy’s management company have confirmed he will not be playing in the Scottish Open at Gullane this week, and told CNN there is a “10% chance” of Rory playing in the 2015 Open.
According to the US National Institute of Health, “acute lateral ankle ligament sprains are common in young athletes (15 to 35 years of age). Diagnostic and treatment protocols vary.
“Therapies range from cast immobilisation or acute surgical repair to functional rehabilitation. A non-operative ‘functional treatment’ programme includes immediate use of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), a short period of immobilisation and protection with a tape or bandage, and early range of motion, weight-bearing and neuromuscular training exercises.”
“Like fans everywhere, we are saddened to hear about Rory’s injury and stand by him as his doctors continue to assess his condition and treatment day by day. More importantly, we wish him a speedy recovery,” a Nike spokesman said.