McIlroy tears ankle ligament; Open in doubt

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Rory McIlroy is almost certain to miss next week’s Open Championship after announcing Monday that he has a “total rupture” of a ligament in his left ankle.

McIlroy, who was scheduled to play in this week’s Scottish Open, said on Instagram that he injured his ankle while playing soccer with friends on Saturday. McIlroy is set to undergo further testing on his ankle in the next 48 hours, and he did not offer a timetable for his return.

“Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment play day by day,” he wrote. “Rehab already started.....Working hard to get back as soon as I can.” 

A McIlroy spokesperson told Golf Channel that there isn't a timeframe for a return and that McIlroy is taking this situation day by day. McIlroy has already been removed from the field for this week's Scottish Open. There is "10 percent chance" he will miss his title defense at St. Andrews, according to a CNN report.

Dr. James Gladstone, co-director of sports medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital, explained on “Morning Drive” that the typical rehabilitation process is ice to minimize swelling, followed by electrical stimulation, a gentle range-of-motion program, and then strengthening of the tendons on the side of the leg to help compensate for the strained ligament while it heals.

The recovery time depends on the severity of the sprain, Gladstone said, but the general timetable for a return is anywhere from 10 days to six weeks. The Open begins in 10 days.

The world No. 1 was scheduled to play four events in a six-week span, a run that included two majors and a World Golf Championships event.

McIlroy is the defending champion at the Open, after winning a year ago at Royal Liverpool. After posting back-to-back top-10s at the Masters and U.S. Open, he was the slight betting favorite over Jordan Spieth at St. Andrews. Spieth’s odds will surely improve after this surprising news.

McIlroy shot 63 on the Old Course during the opening round at the 2010 Open en route a T-3 finish. When the PGA was last played at Whistling Straits, in 2010, he finished in a tie for third, one shot out of the playoff.