Rory McIlroy has revealed that a recent health check has shown up an "irregularity" with his heart.

The four-time Major winner says that it is probably the result of a viral infection that he picked up in 2016.

"I’ve got a bit of an irregularity with my heart that I have to keep on top of," the 28-year-old told The Telegraph.

"I have a flat T-wave and I’ll have to get an echo [cardiogram] on my heart every six months and an MRI scan every year.

"I suffered a really bad viral infection in China 18 months ago and they told me that’s the reason that I have this thickening of my left ventricle and there’s a bit of scar tissue.

"For now, I just need to stay on top of it and have to stay fit. Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway."

McIlroy will end a four-month break when he plays in the Abu Dhabi Championship next Thursday and also revealed that a troublesome rib injury had cleared up

"The rib’s fine, no problems whatsoever – I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was okay," he said.

The revelation sparked a huge reaction, prompting the Northern Irishman to post a message on Instagram, in which he explained that the discovery of the heart irregularity is 'nothing to worry about.'

"It's really not that big of a deal," he wrote, "and nothing to worry about, apart from getting an annual check-up, like you should do anyway.

"I feel there's been a big reaction to it in the media which there really shouldn't be. I'm fit and healthy and can't wait to get my 2018 season started in Abu Dhabi next week."