The current World No 11 arrived back to the UAE last weekend and while his nagging 2017-long rib injury has fully healed he has somewhat shocked the golf world with revelations the 28-year old has a heart concern.

McIlroy has not competed since finishing well down the field in last October’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland and purposely has remained side-lined from formal competition to allow his injury rib to fully heal.

“I don’t feel I need to compare myself to anyone else, because I know what I can do. I’m not hung up on it,” he said.

“I suffered a really bad viral infection in China 18 months ago and they told me that’s the reason that I have this thickening of my left ventricle and there’s a bit of scar tissue.

“For now, I just need to stay on top of it and have to stay fit. Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway.

“The rib’s fine, no problems whatsoever – I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was okay,” said McIlroy to the Telegraph.

The closest he went to success in season 2017 was finishing runner-up to fellow Irishman Paul Dunne at the British Masters while earlier in the year he lost a play-off,  and revealing his rib injury for a first occasion, at the BMW SA Open and being staged again this week in South Africa.

“I don’t care about the world rankings as  I think about number of wins, the ability of the players against me, the number of majors the others have. 

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