"After much consideration, I have decided not to play in the Open Championship at St. Andrews," the world number one said Wednesday on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

"I'm taking a long term view of this injury and, although rehab is progressing well, I want to come back to tournament play when I feel 100% healthy and 100% competitive.

"Thank you for all your support and best wishes. I hope to be back on the course as soon as I can."

The 26-year-old Northern Irishman had revealed the extent of the injury on his Twitter and Instagram accounts on Monday.

"Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with
friends on Saturday," he said.

"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."

He also posted a photograph on Instagram showing himself on crutches and wearing a protective boot.

McIlroy quickly pulled out of this week's Scottish Open at Gullane and it was immediately clear that the extent of the injury made it highly unlikely that he would be able to tee off in the Open championship first round next Thursday.

The Open organisers the R&A Tweeted after McIlroy had said he would be missing that they were "naturally very disappointed that Rory will be unable to defend his title at St Andrews next week.

McIlroy's budding rivalry with 21-year-old American Jordan Spieth - the two of them own all four major titles
between them - had been billed as the focal point of this year's Open and his absence will be sorely felt.

His misfortune was 30-year-old Scot Russell Knox's good fortune as he replaced him in the field for what will be his first Open.

Fellow American Phil Mickelson, who won the Open at nearby Muirfield the year before McIlroy's triumph, concurred saying that he had undergone a similar fate in 1994.

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