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

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy

RORY McILROY has revealed his secret heart scare - and how he will now require routine medical check-ups for the foreseeable future.

McIlroy, 28, disclosed the problem during an interview with The (London) Telegraph in Dubai, where he has been preparing for his return to competition after a almost fourth-month break.

He said: "It's been 10 years that I've been a pro and to me that's incredible".

McIlroy will return to action in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship starting Thursday at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates.

"I've got a bit of an irregularity with my heart that I have to keep on top of", McIlroy told the Telegraph. He says he'll get an electrocardiogram every six months and an MRI once per year.

"The rib's fine, no problems whatsoever - I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was okay", said McIlroy to the Telegraph.

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McIlroy said the irregularity stems from a virus he got in 2016.

It is what will be driving the four-time Major victor when he kick starts his 11th season in the pay-for-pay ranks.

He says doctors told him it was caused by a viral infection he suffered in China 18 months ago.

Health concerns aside, McIlroy sounded an extremely optimistic tone about once again establishing himself as one of the sport's top contenders, proclaiming: "Maybe before, I had to win from the front. Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway". "I knew within myself that I couldn't compete at the end of last season because I hadn't done the work beforehand, and that's because I hadn't been fit enough and if you can't practice, you can't compete". I think about number of wins, the ability of the players against me, the number of majors the others have. "I don't care about the world rankings".

He will make his return at the Abu Dhabi Championship next week.

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