McIlroy gives rib tick of approval after successful return

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Former world number one Rory McIlroy said he has overcome his rib injury following an impressive return at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

McIlroy played his first tournament since mid-January as he carded a three-under-par 68 to be only one shot adrift after Thursday's first round.

The four-time major champion had been sidelined due to a hairline fracture but he overcame that and a stomach bug at Club de Golf Chapultepec to be within striking distance of six players tied for the lead.

"The rib is fine," said McIlroy at the co-sanctioned PGA and European Tour event. "I didn't feel it at all so it's all positive.

"How I've responded the last couple of weeks, ramping up the practice and then playing my first full competitive round here, I didn't feel it at all so all is positive in that regard.

"I probably could have played the Honda Classic last week but I wasn't going to know how my body was going to react if I played four days in a row. 

"It would have been nice to sleep in my own bed and play the Honda, but I decided to give it another week.

"I'm taking next week off to see how everything reacts and responds so this was the logical place to come back. I stayed patient and the week longer will definitely pay off."