| -0.4°C Dublin

McIlroy visits specialist over back pain

World number seven Rory McIlroy visited a Belfast-based specialist today to discover the extent of a back problem ahead of a maiden season on the US PGA Tour.

The 20-year-old has developed the problem after enduring a gruelling practice schedule at the start of the new campaign which has often involved eight-hour sessions.

He was still able to maintain his recent run of top-10 finishes with sixth place at the Dubai Desert Classic -- won by Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiminez -- which pushed the Holywood ace above Pádraig Harrington to a career-high world ranking.

"My back has been bothering me for a few days now so that's why I am going for a scan," he said.


"I'm strapped pretty good. I've had the problem for a while, and it's just whenever I undertake a lot of practice. I've been out in the Middle East for four weeks so I think it's just a repetitive injury and comes from hitting a lot of balls, and it just niggles a little bit."

McIlroy, who also finished third in his first appearance of the season in Abu Dhabi, has taken out a US PGA Tour card for the first time this season and is set to feature at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona next week.

But before that he will meet the Belfast-based specialist today and also undergo a scan in Leeds after travelling back from Dubai with his parents Gerry and Rosie and South African-born physio Cornell Driesson.