As he prepares to return to action after being sidelined almost four months by a rib injury, Rory McIlroy has another health issue to monitor: a heart irregularity.

The ribs fine, no problems whatsoever I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was OK, McIlroy told the Telegraph Friday. But Ive got a bit of an irregularity with my heart that I have to keep on top of.

I have a flat T-wave and Ill have to get an echo [cardiogram] on my heart every six months and an MRI scan every year.

The Irish golfer traced the condition back to a bad viral infection he had 18 months ago in China, leading to some scar tissue and the thickening of his left ventricle.

McIlroy is set to play in next weeks Abu Dhabi Championship in Dubai, his first tournament since shutting down his game in October to deal with a fractured rib. The former world No. 1 initially suffered the injury last January in the BMW South African Open, but after taking some time off, he returned to the course and tried to play through it as it flared up again.

I shouldnt have played the US Open, McIlroy said. I needed the reset that Ive just had. Lets just say that between now and when I signed off last year, I feel way more optimistic, focused, motivated, purposeful.