Rory McIlroy recently suffered an ankle injury that has forced him to pull out of this year’s Open Championship. The injury was sustained during a friendly kick about with some pals and it proves that even those athletes who are on top of their game have to be wary of accidental bumps and knocks.
News of the injury spread like wildfire around social media sites after McIlroy uploaded a picture of his ankle strapped into a protective cast. The accompanying few lines highlighted what was already made obvious by the snapshot:
“After much consideration, I have decided not to play in the Open Championship at St Andrews. I’m taking a long-term view of this injury and, although rehab is progressing well, I want to come back to tournament play when I feel 100% healthy and 100% competitive. Thank you for all your support and best wishes. I hope to be back on the course as soon as I can.”
What’s Next For McIlroy?
Despite McIlroy’s obvious disappointment at not being able to defend his title, the decision not to take part is probably a sound one. The ruptured ligament in the left ankle could well have been aggravated further if he had decided to play, and the long-term implications of that may have meant that he’d miss the next major on the calendar.
The 2015 US PGA Championship is to be held at Whistling Straits and it is another major title that McIlroy will be hoping to defend. The world number one will be keen to get back out there in mid-August with hopes of getting his season back on track.
McIlroy will be looking forward to a lengthy bout of physical therapy in order to get the ruptured anterior talofibular ligament in his left ankle back to full strength. The initial treatment will no doubt consist of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) used alongside a course of anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce any swelling.
The protective ankle brace seen in the photo posted by McIlroy will be in place at all times until the golfer can walk about freely once more without pain. Having an ankle brace support the area can reduce the amount of time between the injury occurring and the patient walking naturally, so it will be a vital part of his recovery process.
As strength and mobility in the ankle begins to return, isometric and resistance exercises will be initiated. Balance training too will be introduced once McIlroy’s team feel that the golfer is ready to progress to more rigorous forms of physiotherapy. One thing is for certain, McIlroy will undoubtedly have an extremely well qualified team looking out for him and getting back on the road to full fitness.
While it is certainly prudent not to take any unnecessary risks when performing at the highest level, a balance does have to be struck. Accidents are just that, they are accidents. They can happen to anyone at any time, and wrapping yourself up in cotton wool can prove to be a very dull existence indeed.
It is vitally important that we all try and live our lives to the fullest. Worrying about injury will certainly not prevent one occurring, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
Rohit Madhav is the founder of London based Ankle Foot Motion and specialises in treating sporting related ankle injuries. If you suffer from an ankle injury, especially a sporting related one, contact Rohit today.