After another humbling performance at a major championship, Rory McIlroy says he will “assess his options” with his medical team but admits his season, and year, may have to come to a premature end.
McIlroy finished the PGA Championship at one-over-par, well off the leading pace, and confessed after his final round that he may need a prolonged break from the game as he continues his struggles against a rib injury.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. You might not see me until next year, you might see me in a couple of weeks’ time. It really depends,” said the Northern-Irishman.
“Right now I can feel my left rhomboid going into spasm, and that’s the way it has been the last few weeks. I have upped my practice coming into these two events because I wanted to feel like I was in a good place in my game.”
The world-number-four took almost two months off to recover from the initial blow in January, which he has aggravated since at THE PLAYERS Championship, and has struggled for form in the meantime.
“But right now it’s a tough one because I go out there and shoot decent scores, but when I come off the course I feel my left rhomboid going into spasm, and the inside of my left arm goes numb. So I don’t know what to do. I have got this next week off to assess what I need to go forward.
“It’s not as bad as it was at The Players when it really flared up on me. But it’s there and I can play 18 holes, but once I get done, having to go through the whole routine of getting it ready to go again the next day, you shouldn’t have to do that. If I was injury-free, that wouldn’t happen,” McIlroy explained in detail.
“I’m flying home to Northern Ireland and I’ll catch up with [my trainer] Steve McGregor this week and see what we need to go going forward. But the more I play, it’s just not allowing that time to heal 100 per cent.”
McIlroy is the current FedExCup champion and is hopeful of being able to defend his title, starting with the opening Play-Off event – The Northern Trust – in two weeks time; however he is struggling to decide what is best for him.
“If I’m capable of playing, I feel like why shouldn’t I? But then at the same time, if you are not capable of playing at your best, why should you play? So, again, it’s a Catch 22. We’ll see what happens. I’ll assess my options in the next few days and see where we go from there.
“I feel like I’m capable and playing well enough to give myself a chance in it, but April is a long way away and that’s the next big thing on my radar. I have a good bit of time to get healthy and address a few things going forward, so the next big thing is April and that’s really what my focus will be on from now until then.”
What the four-time major champion did admit, though, was that his recovery struggles have potentially been his own doing.
“I just haven’t it allowed it the time to fully heal. I wanted to play the season and I feel like I’m capable of playing well and winning and putting rounds together. But if I want to challenge on a more consistent basis, I need to get 100 per cent healthy.”