Rory McIlroy has revealed he needs regular heart tests after picking up a virus in China 18 months ago.

The four-time major champion, and former world No. 1, told the Telegraph the infection had thickened his left ventricle and left some scar tissue.

The 28-year-old, whose 2018 campaign will get under way in Abu Dhabi next week, said he would need “an echo [cardiogram] on my heart every six months and an MRI scan every year”.

Releasing a later statement on his Instagram account, McIlroy added that the “slight heartbeat irregularity” was called a “flat or inverted T wave”.

McIlroy’s career has been plagued by recent injury. He missed his defence of the Open Championship at St Andrews in 2015 after rupturing an ankle ligament playing football with friends.

Last year, his drive to add to his haul of major titles was halted by a rib injury he picked up in January at the South African Open and which hindered him for much of the 2017 campaign.

Despite his latest declaration, McIlroy has insisted that there’s nothing to worry about.

“It’s not really that big of a deal,” he added and stressed he was “fit and healthy” ahead of his return to action at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

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Jan 12, 2018 at 7:30pm PST