'Really quite annoying' - McIlroy rib injury forces Abu Dhabi withdrawal

Updated: 

Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from the Abu Dhabi Championship after suffering a stress fracture in his ribs.

The Northern Irishman sustained the setback while playing at the South Africa Open last week, where he finished runner-up to Graeme Storm following a play-off.

McIlroy, a four-time major champion, has recorded six top-three finishes in Abu Dhabi since 2010 and is disheartened to miss out this time around.

"It's bitterly disappointing to have to withdraw from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship," said the world number two in a statement released by the European Tour.

"I think everyone knows how much I love playing this tournament, which is one of the best on the European Tour thanks to the incredible support of HSBC and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

"To be forced to miss this week through injury is really quite annoying to be perfectly honest, but I am sure the tournament will be a huge success and I hope everyone involved has a great week.

"In situations like this you simply have to listen to the experts and the team I have consulted have all advised me to rest until my rib has fully recovered."