Rory McIlroy injury absence confirmed to be longer than expected

World No 2 won't be back until March

Rory McIlroy

Image: David Davies / PA Wire/PA Images

Rory McIlroy will remain out of action until early March with a rib injury.

The World No 2 is recovering from a stress fracture suffered after his second place finish at the South African Open earlier this month.

McIlroy is targetting the WGC Mexico Championship in the first week of March for his return.

While yesterday he had been ruled out of action this weekend, a more distant return date had not been set.

In an interview with The Clubhouse Pod on FOX Sports, McIlroy said: "I am trying to get back for Mexico. That’s my timetable for return.

"I could maybe get back before that, but if I were to play Honda and then go straight to Mexico, that would be playing two weeks in a row.

"I would like to ease my way in gently."

The Honda Classic in Florida takes place on February 26th, a week before the WGC-Mexico Championship on March 5th, the latter which he is aiming for.

After missing the Abu Dhabi Championship last week due to the injury, the European Tour announced that the Northern Irishman will also miss this weekend's Dubai Desert Classic - a tournament he has won twice before in 2009 and 2015.

The four time major winner originally sustained the rib injury at the South Africa Open the weekend before, although he played through the pain to miss out on victory to Graeme Storm only by way of a deciding playoff.