McIlroy WDs from Abu Dhabi with rib injury

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Rory McIlroy won’t play in this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and is out indefinitely after an MRI exam determined that he had a stress fracture in one of his ribs. 

“To be forced to miss this week through injury is really quite annoying to be perfectly honest,” he said in a statement, before adding: “In situations like this you simply have to listen to the experts, and the team I have consulted have all advised me to rest until my rib has fully recovered.” 

It was McIlroy’s upper back that caused him discomfort last week in his 2017 debut at the South African Open. The world No. 2 said that he “tweaked” his back before the start of the second round and nearly withdrew. He took anti-inflammatories and played through pain for the rest of the event, eventually losing in a playoff to Graeme Storm

How this affects McIlroy’s Masters preparations remains to be seen. He was scheduled to play even more than usual leading into the year’s first major, including stops at the Dubai Desert Classic, Genesis Open, Honda Classic, WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Match Play. Last year he also played the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Even without McIlroy, Abu Dhabi still boasts a strong field, headlined by Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler