Rory McIlroy reveals he's been dealing with heart condition

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Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy stunned the golf world when he revealed he's been dealing with "an irregularity with my heart".

The four-time major victor cut short his 2017 schedule in order to undergo treatment on a rib injury, which he says has now healed, and news of his latest health setback had led to concerns over his plans for this year.

Doctors told McIlroy the illness he came down with resulted in the thickening of his left ventricle and he told The Daily Telegraph "there's a bit of scar tissue".

He says doctors told him it was caused by a viral infection he suffered in China 18 months ago. I don't feel I need to compare myself to anyone else, because I know what I can do. "Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway", he said.

"The rib's fine, no problems whatsoever", he added.

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McIlroy is set to return to action next week in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It revealed I had a slight heartbeat irregularity called a flat or inverted T-wave.

McIlroy said later in an Instagram post, "It's really not that big of a deal and nothing to worry about, apart from getting an annual checkup, like you should do anyway".

McIlroy, who failed to win a tournament last season for just the second time in his professional career, ended his year early due to a rib problem, but that is no longer an issue.

Noting that he used to struggle going head-to-head down the stretch with the "big guys", the 28-year-old Ulsterman said he now plays his best under such conditions and can't wait to get back there. "I just crave to be in that position again".

McIlroy will face stiff competition at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship from a field which includes world No 1 Dustin Johnson, Race to Dubai victor - and defending Abu Dhabi champion - Tommy Fleetwood, former British Open champion Henrik Stenson, and Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose.

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