Rory McIlroy has pulled out of the upcoming Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship due to a rib injury.

McIlroy picked up the injury at the South Africa Open and tests today revealed he has suffered a stress fracture.

The Northern Irishman played through the pain in losing a play-off to Graeme Storm after revealing on Friday morning that he had considered pulling out of the event due to the problem.

McIlroy told the “It’s bitterly disappointing to have to withdraw from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. 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.”

McIlroy had initially cited the problem as suspected fatigue after an off-season that has seen him hit a lot of balls in practice trying to decide on new equipment after former supplier Nike decided to stop producing clubs last year.

He played in Johannesburg with his back taped up while taking anti-inflammatories.