Rory McIlroy suffered a total rupture of the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) in his left ankle while playing football with friends on Saturday, leaving him on crutches in the short term with the distinct possibility of missing his shot to defend his Open Championship crown.
He will definitely miss this week’s Scottish Open.
“Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day,” the world’s top-ranked golfer wrote on his Twitter account. “Rehab already started. … Working hard to get back as soon as I can.”
McIlroy posted a picture of himself on crutches with a heavy-duty boot covering his left leg from foot to nearly his knee.
The injury was largely felt in Las Vegas, where McIlroy slid from 5-to-1 to 8-to-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. Jordan Spieth, who has started out 2015 by winning the Masters and US Open, climbed from 6-to-1 to 9-to-2.
The last time a defending Open Championship winner missed the following year’s tournament was in 1954 when Ben Hogan chose not to enter, after having won the Masters, US Open, and Open Championship in succession in 1953.
Speculation is that the injury, if it requires full rehabilitation, could cause McIlroy to miss as much as six months or even up to a year. Such a lengthy hiatus would see him fall out of the world top 10 and move Jordan Spieth up to No. 1.