As he prepares to return to action after being sidelined nearly four months by a rib injury, Rory McIlroy has another health issue to monitor: a heart irregularity.
"I've got a bit of an irregularity with my heart that I have to keep on top of", the world No 11 told The Daily Telegraph. He says he'll get an electrocardiogram every six months and an MRI once per year.
Rory McIlroy said a viral infection he contracted 18 months ago in China has led to damage to his heart. The Northern Irishman will begin his 2018 season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, starting January 15, where he is a four-time runner-up.
McIlroy missed extensive time last season due to the rib injury and will return from a almost four-month break next week at the Abu Dhabi Championship. "I'm fit and healthy and can't wait to get my 2018 season started in Abu Dhabi next week".
"The rib's fine, no problems whatsoever - I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was okay", he said.
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The 28-year-old from Northern Ireland, lacking only a victory at the Masters to complete a career Grand Slam, has bought the former home of South African four-time major victor Ernie Els at the nearby Bear's Club.
McIlroy said later in an Instagram post, "It's really not that big of a deal and nothing to worry about, apart from getting an annual checkup, like you should do anyway".
And McIlroy, who failed to win a tournament last season for just the second time in his professional career, revealed the rib problem that hampered his year was not the cause for concern.
He said: "It's been 10 years that I've been a pro and to me that's incredible". "I don't care about the world rankings. I'm not hung up on it". I know exactly what I can do.