Oosthuizan to McIlroy: Don’t rush back

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Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen has warned world number one Rory McIlroy of the risks of rushing back from injury.

McIlroy will not be defending the Claret Jug at St Andrews this week after rupturing an ankle ligament playing football with friends.

Louis Oosthuizen won the event when it was last played at St Andrews.

Oostuizen, who won the last time the championship was played at the ’home of golf’ in 2010, can empathise having suffered a similar problem among the numerous injuries that have hampered his career.

The 32-year-old South African said: “Rehab is the most important thing after any injury. I came back in 2010. I tore my ankle ligaments on the left ankle and I came back probably too soon, so that put me back a few months more.

“It’s something you and your team need to take care of just to make sure that, whenever you’re back, you’re fully fit. A lot of times you’re very anxious to come back a bit earlier to get back to it. You miss being part of the action, you miss playing in tournaments, and sometimes that can be costly.”

But Oostuizen, who returned to form with a tied second-place finish at last month’s US Open, has no doubt McIlroy is in good hands.

A ruptured ligament put paid to McIlroy’s defence of the Claret Jug.

“Rory will be fine,” he said. “I’m sure he’ll take care of that injury pretty good.”

Former world number one Tiger Woods, who won two of his three Open titles at St Andrews, has had plenty of injury problems himself in recent years and believes McIlroy will feel his absence keenly.

Woods said: “He won this championship last year and played awesome coming in. This is a championship that means a lot to him and to be back here at the home course, it’s a little tough to take sometimes.

“But we all get injured out here and no-one is immune to it. We all have to go through knick-knack injuries here and there and I hope he comes back, but also hope he comes back healthy and ready to go.”