World number one and
Rory McIlroy is a doubt for the Open after totally rupturing an ankle ligament playing football with friends.
The 2015 Open begins in nine days’ time at St Andrews in Scotland.
McIlroy, 26, wrote on Instagram: “Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends.
“Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started.”
A spokesman for McIlroy, who will have further scans on his ankle over the next 48 hours, said he has not yet ruled himself out of the Open.
Ian Bayley, a retired orthopaedic surgeon, told BBC Radio 5 live: “It sounds as though they’re treating it conservatively and letting nature heal it.
“It’s got to be held immobile in this cast for six weeks, but as soon as he can put weight on it enough to actually play then he should be able to play.
“It will probably heal perfectly well, he’ll just put it down to experience.”
McIlroy, who has won four majors so far in his career, was set to play in the Scottish Open this week, but will definitely miss that event.
He could also miss the chance to defend his US PGA Championship title in mid-August.
McIlroy has had a mixed season so far, finishing fourth at this year’s Masters back in April, and joint ninth at last month’s US Open – both tournaments were won by Jordan Spieth.
He missed the cut at the Honda Classic in March, but won the World Golf Championships Match Play and the Wells Fargo Championship in May.