Rory McIlroy reveals heart irregularity he has 'to keep on top of'

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Rory McIlroy says he has a heart ailment that will have to be monitored regularly but is not expected to affect his play.

He says he'll get an electrocardiogram every six months and an MRI once per year.

As he prepares to return to competitive golf at the Abu Dhabi Championship next week, McIlroy revealed in in a wide-ranging interview with the Telegraph that a year and a half ago he suffered a viral infection in China, which left scar tissue and caused a thickening of his heart's left ventricle. "I'm fit and healthy and can't wait to get my 2018 season started in Abu Dhabi next week". "Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway".

"The rib's fine, no problems whatsoever-I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was OK", McIlroy said. However, the four-time major victor has since released a statement on Instagram downplaying any health fears.

While he has slipped outside the top 10 in the rankings, McIlroy said his focus was purely on winning.

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While McIlroy battled injuries last year, the 28-year-old revealed he also had a heart problem that he needed to keep an eye on.

"I feel there's been a big reaction to it in the media which there really shouldn't be".

"I touched upon a recent finding from a routine health and wellness check". I don't fear any of them. "I've beaten them before".

Except, the health report he delivered was unexpected after the injured rib which plagued his winless season of 2017.

"Yesterday, I did an interview with the Daily Telegraph where I spoke about a range of topics regarding the last three months of my life", McIlroy wrote. Let's just say that between now and when I signed off previous year, I feel way more optimistic, focused, motivated, purposeful.