Rory McIlroy has been on top of the golf world since he was a teenager. McIlroy currently sits 11th in the world despite a 2017 disrupted by injury, and when healthy, he still possesses a gear that only a few competitors have a hope of matching.
In an interview with Telegraph reporter James Corrigan, though, McIlroy revealed that his health issues went beyond the widely-reported rib injury:
Sitting down in a coffee bar on Friday beneath the tower of his Dubai residence, the 28-year-old projected the air of an athlete who had recovered his spark – as well his mojo.
Except, the health report he delivered was unexpected after the injured rib which plagued his winless season of 2017.
“The rib’s fine, no problems whatsoever – I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was OK,” McIlroy said, after returning from yet another sun-lit practice session. “But I’ve got a bit of an irregularity with my heart that I have to keep on top of.”
That’s obviously a scary thing to hear for anyone, world-class athlete or not. McIlroy explained the background of the probem, which was apparently the result of a virus he contracted during a visit to China:
“I have a flat T-wave and I’ll have to get an echo [cardiogram] on my heart every six months and an MRI scan every year.
“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.”
It sounds as though McIlroy’s heart problem can be managed, which is good news for both Rory and fans of golf; the crop of current competitors at the top of the sport is deeper than it’s ever been, and McIlroy is a big part of that.