McIlroy targets Mexico return

Rory McIlroy is hoping to return to competitive golf at the WGC-Mexico Championship as he battles injury.

The world number two has a stress fracture in a rib that emerged during the BMW South Africa Open in Ekurhuleni, where he played through the pain to a play-off defeat.

Intensive equipment and ball-testing sessions in the off-season and a minor swing change have been blamed for the injury.

"I knew it was going to be a busy off-season with everything I had to get sorted, but I never imagined that hitting so many balls would lead to this [injury], but that's the way it goes," McIlroy said.

"Now I'm just focused on trying to get as healthy as possible before we tee it up again in a few weeks."

The Mexico tournament runs from March 2 through March 5.

With rest instructed, McIlroy said his past few weeks have involved watching Australian Open tennis and Sherlock on television.

"Watching a lot of tennis, watched Nadal today, watched Federer yesterday. Started watching Sherlock, which is more of a British TV show with Benedict Cumberbatch on Netflix. It's actually been OK," he said.

"It's been a week where I haven't really done much, but did 45 minutes in the gym today starting a little bit of rehab stuff, just trying to make sure the movement is all there and making sure there's range and everything, so today has been much better than the past few days."

"Obviously this probably isn't the perfect preparation [for the Masters in Augusta from April 6 to April 9], but at the same time it could be a blessing in disguise."

"It gives me five or six weeks where I can just purely work on my short game this year, so there's no excuses going to Augusta about not having a sharp short game this year, so we'll see."