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Golfer McIlroy coping with back injury

Press Association logoPress Association 15/01/2017

World No.2 golfer Rory McIlroy could miss next week's Abu Dhabi Championship due to a back injury.

The Northern Irishman played through the pain in losing a play-off to Graeme Storm at the South African Open on Sunday after revealing on Friday morning that he had considered pulling out of the event due to the problem.

McIlroy initially cited the problem as suspected fatigue after an off-season in which he hit a lot of balls in practice trying to decide on new equipment after former supplier Nike decided to stop producing clubs last year.

But the former world No.1 will now undergo a scan on Monday to make sure the problem is nothing more sinister after playing in Johannesburg with his back taped up and taking anti-inflammatories.

American stars Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler - the defending champion - will be playing in Abu Dhabi and it would be a big blow for McIlroy to miss an event in which he has finished outside the top three just three times in nine appearances.

"I am going for a scan tomorrow," he told the European Tour's official website. "I fly to Dubai tonight and then will go for an MRI tomorrow just to see what's up with this joint in my back.

"It was manageable this week with tape and a few pills so I am fine but first and foremost I have to get fully fit and healthy again and hopefully I'll be alright to play next week.

"We will see what happens but like I said, it is manageable with the tape and a few anti-inflammatories but it's not 100 per cent.

"Part of me really wants to make this week because there is so much to play for but at the same time there is so much to play for over the whole season and I don't want to jeopardise long-term goals for short-term gain. Hopefully I'll be good to go."

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