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Rory McIlroy suffers 'total rupture' of ankle ligament, British Open in doubt

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The world No. 1 and favorite at the British Open is on crutches after suffering an ankle injury playing soccer.

Rory McIlroy announced Monday morning that he suffered a total rupture of his left ankle ligament over the weekend while playing soccer with friends. McIlroy posted a photo in a walking boot and on crutches with the caption:

Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends on Saturday. Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started ... Working hard to get back as soon as I can.

The obvious and immediate question surrounds McIlroy's status for the rest of the summer. This is one of the worst times to suffer an injury, with the stacked stretch of the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship coming in a five-week span. It was just about this time last year that McIlroy started his dominant summer, ascending to No. 1 in the world and taking back-to-back majors (and the WGC in between).

Dr. James Gladstone, co-director of sports medicine at Mt. Sinai, called in to Golf Channel's Morning Drive and indicated the recovery time would be "very based on the severity of the sprain" and could be as quick as 10 days to two weeks or as long as six weeks. There's a wide range of severity with the injury beyond just the basic information McIlroy provided on Instagram. A spokesman said further scans were being done on Monday, but an Open defense seems unlikely.

The spokesman confirmed the obvious: McIlroy would definitely not play this week at the Scottish Open, an event many of the world's best players use to prep for the British Open.

McIlroy said he had already started a rehab regimen, but the first round of The Open Championship is just 10 days away at St. Andrews. Even after Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Open and captured the first two legs of the grand slam, it was McIlroy, world No. 1 and defending Open champion, who was installed as the 4/1 favorite at the season's third major.

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