Sport Golf

Sunday 26 February 2017

"It is highly unlikely Rory McIlroy will be fit to perform at British Open," says top physiotherapist

Ger Keville

Ger Keville

A top physiotherapist has told that it's unlikely Rory McIlroy will be fit to compete in St Andrew's
A top physiotherapist has told that it's unlikely Rory McIlroy will be fit to compete in St Andrew's

It is “highly unlikely” that Rory McIlroy will be fit to compete in next week’s British Open in St Andrews, according to a top rehabilitation physiotherapist.

The Irishman ruptured his AFTL (ankle ligaments) playing football over the weekend and is on crutches as he begins rehab.

And despite not ruling himself out of St Andrews when the world’s top golfers tee up on Thursday week, the Head of Performance Rehabilitation in Sports Surgery Clinic, Enda King, says that rehabilitation and return to performance will take a number of weeks.

“The rehabilitation period is anywhere between four and six weeks for multi directional sport, generally around the six-week mark,” Mr King told

“The chances are it may be slightly less for golf but it depends on his individual mechanics, the extent of the damage and how comfortable he feels while swinging.

“It’s about trying to minimise pain and swelling, get mobility back and then work on the ankle and try to restore strength, balance and dynamic control. It is highly unlikely that an ankle injury of that severity would have recovered sufficiently by next Thursday to be able to perform."

Damage to the ATFL ligaments is very common in soccer with some players ruled out for months. And while Mr King says recovery time should be quicker for golfers, he added that the pain will not be McIlroy’s only barrier if he plays in St Andrew’s.

“You can’t just strap it up and expect it not to have any effect on your balance and mechanics which are essential in golf,” he added.

Read more: Rory McIlroy a major doubt for British Open as he ruptures his ankle ligaments playing football

Read more: Hope for Rory McIlroy: How Tiger Woods played through the pain to win 2008 US Open

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