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Rory McIlroy ruptures ankle ligament playing soccer, Open status questionable

July 06, 2015

And you thought Rory McIlroy's first two majors this season were disappointments. After late rallies to post top 10s in the Masters and the U.S. Open, the World No. 1 might not even be able to play in next week's British Open due to injury.

The defending Open champion posted this picture to Instagram Monday morning of him in crutches and wearing a boot on his left foot. According to McIlroy, he ruptured the left ankle ligament kicking a soccer ball with friends on Saturday. He made no reference to a timetable for returning, only that he's already begun rehabbing vigorously.

Update:McIlroy's management company told CNN there's a "10 percent chance" the golfer will play at St. Andrews, and that he's under the supervision of sports scientist Dr. Steven McGregor.

McIlroy was scheduled to play this week's Scottish Open before heading to St. Andrews, where he finished T-3 at the British Open in 2010.

According to the National Institute of Health, ankle ligament tear's like McIlroy's are best treated through therapy and not surgery. Some 10 to 30 percent of people who tear their ankle ligaments continue to have chronic symptoms.

A paper by Karim Khan and Peter Bruker of the Olympic Sports Medicine Clinic in Australia states a Grade III injury like McIlroy's requires "initial conservative management over a 6 week period."

In other words, in all likelihood McIlroy's major season is over.