World number one Rory McIlroy will not defend his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title next week as he continues his recovery from a serious ankle injury.
And that increases the likelihood that the four-time major winner will also be unable to defend the following week's US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
McIlroy suffered a ''total rupture'' of the anterior talofibular ligament in his left ankle while playing football with friends on July 4 and was forced to miss the Scottish Open and the defence of his Open title at St Andrews.
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Medical experts suggested the Northern Irishman could face three months on the sidelines and the 26-year-old confirmed on Wednesday that he would not be able to compete at Firestone Country Club in Akron from August 6-9.
"Unfortunately, I will not be defending my World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational title," McIlroy said in a statement from tournament organisers. "Best of luck to all the competitors and I look forward to returning to Firestone in 2016."