Rory McIlroy reveals heart 'irregularity' stemming from 2016 virus in China

Rory McIlroy has endured a variety of injuries over the years -- from a severely sprained ankle that caused him to miss the 2015 British Open to a rib injury that knocked him off kilter for much of 2017. But a heart irregularity he revealed publicly for the first time this week might be the most troubling of the bunch.

McIlroy insists it's not incredibly serious or threatening, but it's certainly there. He told James Corrigan of the Telegraph all about it.

"I've got a bit of an irregularity with my heart that I have to keep on top of," McIlroy told the Telegraph. "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."

That doesn't sound great, obviously, but it also doesn't sound like it will affect his swing like the rib injury did last year. McIlroy explained that he is fully recovered from that and excited about teeing it up next week at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship to kick off his 2018 season.

McIlroy fell from No. 2 in the Official World Golf Rankings at the beginning of 2017 to No. 11 at the start of 2018 after not winning last year. He insisted that he's recharged and ready to rock in 2018.

He'll have plenty of opportunities, too, as he's planning to play early and often on the PGA Tour. This will include tournaments that he normally doesn't play like the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Valspar Championship in the lead up to the Masters.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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