Rory McIlroy has heightened speculation surrounding his return to action by posting a video which shows him working out in the gym without any apparent discomfort from his injured ankle.
McIlroy has not played since suffering a “total rupture” of ligaments in his left ankle during a game of football with friends on July 4, an injury which ruled him out of the Scottish Open and the defence of his Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational titles.
The 26-year-old has yet to say whether he will be able to defend the US PGA Championship next week and on Tuesday his publicist denied reports he had scheduled a practice round at Whistling Straits on Saturday.
However, on Wednesday McIlroy posted a video on his Instagram account in which he was seen balancing on his left leg and twisting and throwing a gym ball to mimic the actions of the golf swing.
Alongside the short video clip, McIlroy wrote: “Working hard every day to come back stronger #dontmindthegrind.”
McIlroy will be replaced as world number one by Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth if the 22-year-old American can win his first World Golf Championship title at Firestone Country Club this week.
It was at the same event that McIlroy overturned a three-shot deficit to Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia in the final round 12 months ago to move back to the top of the rankings.
However, Spieth is looking forward to seeing the Irishman back in action as soon as possible.
Speaking at a press conference in Akron ahead of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, he said: “We all want Rory back ASAP.
“I saw that video he posted today and it looks like he is making tremendous progress, so hopefully he is back soon.”