Rory McIlroy has an irregularity with his heart, the four-time major winner has revealed.
The 28-year-old endured an injury-plagued 2017 season and said in September he would subject himself to “basically a full health MOT type of thing”.
And McIlroy, who failed to win a tournament last season for just the second time in his professional career, revealed the rib problem that hampered his year was not the cause for concern.
“The rib’s fine, no problems whatsoever,” he told the Telegraph. “I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was OK.
“But I’ve got a bit of an irregularity with my heart that I have to keep on top of.
“I have a flat T-wave and I’ll have to get an echo (cardiogram) on my heart every six months and an MRI scan every year.
“I suffered a really bad viral infection in China 18 months ago and they told me that’s the reason that I have this thickening of my left ventricle and there’s a bit of scar tissue.
“For now, I just need to stay on top of it and have to stay fit. Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway.”
McIlroy, who has slipped to 11th in the world rankings, last appeared at the Dunhill Links Championship in October and will make his return to competition at next week’s Abu Dhabi Championship.
He added: “It’s nice to be world number one, sure, and I will get back there, but it’s all about winning tournaments. And I will give myself the best chances this season.”