The chances of world no. 1 Rory McIlroy defending his title at the Open Championship next week appear slim. McIlroy endured an ankle injury while playing soccer with friends in Belfast this past weekend.
He posted the above picture on his Instagram account and wrote:
“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.”
According to the BBC, a spokesperson for McIlroy said the world no. 1 has not ruled out trying to play at St Andrews next week. However, he was scheduled for a warm-up at the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club this week, which he will obviously now sit out.
McIlroy might also miss his chance to defend his PGA Championship title in August.
I’m not a medical professional or doctor, but in my expert opinion, he’ll be lucky to be fit enough to return for Whistling Straits (where he finished in the top 10 in 2010), and there’s no way he’ll be ready to compete at the Open Championship — he placed in the top 10 when it was last held at St Andrews and played very well, save the 80 he shot in the second round in extreme weather conditions.
I tore a ligament in my left ankle in college and I was forced to wear a similar boot as Rory, along with crutches. I don’t remember the exact timeline of my injury, but I know I was stuck in that boot for at least a month (maybe more), and it took *forever* to heal. In fact, I still have trouble with the same ankle and it gives out on me quite frequently. Don’t fret, though — Rory is in better shape than I was and has the best doctors on hand.
Anyway, basically, the venues at the two remaining majors this year set up well for him, and he must be kicking himself for the freak injury. No doubt there will be critics reprimanding McIlroy for getting himself into this situation in the first place and they’ll question his decision to play soccer in the middle of the most important part of the season. Probably not the best thing he could have done, but at the same time, he’s gotta live his life and one of his most endearing qualities is how “normal” and well-adjusted he is, despite his extraordinary golfing talent.
Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!