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'I've come a long way' says Rory McIlroy as he charts ankle recovery - fuelling speculation of US PGA return

Rory McIlroy has said he has "come a long way" as he reflects on his recovery process after he injured his ankle playing football.

The world number one golfer has fuelled speculation he will return to defend the US PGA Championship next week by posting photos of his recovery on social media.

The 26-year-old was forced to pull out of The Open Championship last month where he was due to defend his title after he suffered a total rupture of the anterior talofibular ligament in his left ankle last month.

<<scroll down to see Rory McIlroy back on the golf course >>

The four time Major winner initially remained optimistic about his injury as he worked hard to get back having already started rehab - however just two days later he confirmed he was withdrawing.

On Thursday the Holywood man posted a picture of his injuries both with the caption "4 and a half and 3 and a half weeks ago respectively...I've come a long way".

He then caused more excitement among golf fans by posting a video of him on the golf course.

He said: "Feels good to hit the driver again" with a blue strap visible on his left ankle.

Yesterday McIlroy heightened speculation surrounding his return to action by posting a video which shows him working out in the gym.

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.

Feels good to hit the driver again!

The 26-year-old has yet to say whether he will be able to defend the US PGA Championship next week.

Earlier his publicist denied reports he had scheduled a practice round at Whistling Straits on Saturday.

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Belfast Telegraph