Dr. Adam Miller of Beacon Orthopaedics discusses why defending champion Rory McIlroy has chosen not to play in the Open Championship at St. Andrews. McIlroy (the number one ranked golfer in the world) decided not to defend his 2014 victory due to an ankle injury he suffered while playing soccer in Northern Ireland with friends.
For McIlroy, it wasn’t worth the risk to play the tournament since his ankle rupture occurred weeks beforehand. He began recuperative therapy, but withdrew from St. Andrews due to the severity of the sprain.
According to reports, McIlroy said it was a complete lateral ligament tear. Ankle sprains range from simply stretching a ligament to a complete rupture. Unfortunately for McIlroy, his injury was of the more severe variety. This type of injury can often limit a sporting athlete for up to a month.
Sprains are more common in contact sports, with soccer causing the highest number of sprains and ruptures. It is unfortunate that it happened to the top ranked golfer in the world two weeks before the Open.
Treatment for injuries of this nature generally consists of weight bearing with immobilization in a boot or ankle brace, depending on the severity of the sprain. Appropriately timed physical therapy can expedite the process, but if done too aggressively can make the injury worse.
Hopefully we will see McIlroy heal from his lateral ligament tear quickly and return to play soon.