PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – With all the new things in Rory McIlroy’s life these days – he’s newly married and now playing his new TaylorMade equipment after signing a megabucks endorsement deal recently – an older friend has paid him a visit this week.
McIlroy said he’s fighting stiffness in his back, similar to what sidelined him earlier this year, and he intends to undergo an MRI on Monday when he returns to Ireland.
To hear McIlroy tell it, there’s no reason for alarm bells. It’s probably just a result of overworking after a three-week layoff but it’s not the kind of thing he wants to ignore.
“I’ve been struggling with it a bit this week, sort of felt it for the first time on Sunday. Then I’ve just sort of been managing it since. So it’s OK, it’s manageable, it’s not, obviously not a hundred percent, but it’s good enough to get myself around here for the next couple of days,” said McIlroy, who is even par through 36 holes.
“I’m going for a MRI scan on Monday just to make sure it’s not serious and then I’ll see what we do from there.”
After a three-week break for his wedding and honeymoon, McIlroy said he hit balls for nearly five hours both last Friday and Saturday with his new equipment. Stiffness set in last Sunday but with temperatures at Sawgrass hovering near 90 degrees Thursday and Friday, McIlroy said he felt looser than he otherwise might have felt.
“It’s in the same area as what the injury was at the start of the year,” said McIlroy, who missed more than a month after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in one of his ribs. “If that injury was an 8 or a 9 in terms of pain and soreness and stiffness, this is around a 4 or 5. So it’s, it might just be a flare-up of what happened previously and I just need to rest for a few days and it might be OK.
“Hopefully that’s what it shows in the scan next week. But, yeah, there’s so many unknowns because we don’t even know, unless you get an image taken of it and you know exactly what’s going on you don’t know, so just making sure that the tissue around it is as loose as it possibly can be and at least the warm weather helps keep it not stiffened up.”