US PGA: Rory McIlroy will continue playing football after injury absence

World number one Rory McIlroy says he will not stop playing football with friends despite suffering an ankle injury in a kickabout last month which prevented him from defending his title at The Open.

The 26-year-old will return to action when the US PGA Championship begins at Whistling Straits on Thursday.

The world number one insists he is fully fit to defend his title after playing 72 holes in Portugal last week and completing more than two practice rounds at the tournament venue.

Northern Irishman McIlroy said football was something he "enjoyed" and had "done my whole life".

He added: "I'm not going to stop doing it although I'll maybe take more precautionary measures and put on a couple of ankle braces."

McIlroy said he did not miss playing at the Open "as much as I thought I would" and that his injury put things into perspective.

"It was obviously tough not to be able to defend," he said. "I thought it was going to be unbearable even watching The Open at St Andrews, but once I started to watch I sort of enjoyed it.

"When you're in this environment and playing golf week in, week out, it means so much to you sometimes you forget there's a bigger wider world out there. I sort of enjoyed a little bit of down time but I'm ready to get back at it."

US PGA Championship

Venue: Whistling Straits, Wisconsin Dates: 13-16 August

Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online from 20:00 BST on 15 August and on BBC Radio 5 live and online from 20:00 BST on 16 August. Live text commentary of all four days online.