Rory McIlroy could rule himself out of the US Open

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The extent of Rory McIlroy's injury has been kept relatively quiet, with the current World number one waiting until the last minute to pull out of this weeks Open Championship.  However, he could also be a doubt for the US Open.

No that isn't a typo. I did write, the US Open. The Express reports that the chances of the Northern Irishman being fit for next months US PGA Championship are "on the slide".  

Darren Clarke collected an award on behalf of the 25-year-old and when he was questioned about McIlroy's injury, his fellow countryman said his return date could be "next year".


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Bleak Prognosis

McIlroy's team have been quick to say that things aren't that bad and I am inclined to believe them.

It is hard to imagine that for someone who was talking about the possibility of being in the starting line up this week at St Andrews, to not feature until June 2016.  Ankle ligament damage can be a long and drawn out process for the road to recovery.

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However the question is whether he will be fit enough to defend his other major title, the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straights.  

He has already had to give up his Claret Jug without a fight, I'm sure Rory would not like his PGA Championship to fall to a similar fate.  

The 25-year-old is letting his injury heal naturally rather than having surgery.  This will speed up the recovery process but it remains to be seen whether this will become his weak point and if it will be susceptible for further injuries.  

Dr Peter Larkins reporting to BBC Sport said: "It can take up to 12 weeks to heal." Despite the faster option being taken, it seems like that the Northern Irishman will be fit for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, rather than the US PGA Championship.

No longer top of the pile

If it proves to be be the case that McIlroy will not be back in action until the end of next month, the World number one will probably not be number one upon his return.  

Jordan Spieth is already hunting him down and a win at St Andrews this week should be enough to surpass McIlroy.

Even if by some miraculous feat the standings remain the same, Rory will not be able to perform to his best standards after such a long lay off.  

So it seems now its a case of 'when' he is dethroned from the top spot, rather than 'if'.

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