Rory McIlroy hits a driver again after ankle injury

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy finished joint ninth at the US Open and fourth at the Masters this season

World number one Rory McIlroy has shared a video of him hitting a drive,external-link increasing speculation that he may return to play in next week's US PGA.

The Northern Ireland player ruptured his ankle ligaments in July, ending his hopes of defending his Open title.

McIlroy, 26, added on Instagram that it felt "good to hit the driver again".

The four-time major winner has reportedly booked a weekend practice round at Whistling Straitsexternal-link - the US PGA venue - for this weekend.

Rory McIlroy
"4 and a half and 3 and a half weeks ago respectively... I've come a long way since," wrote Rory McIlroy to accompany this picture on Instagram

His spokesperson said on Tuesday that McIlroy's recovery was "ongoing" while refusing to comment on whether he might defend the title that he won at Valhalla last year.

As well as the video of his driving the ball, McIlroy has shared upbeat pictures on social media of reduced swelling on his ankle and of his throwing a medicine ball in a gym.external-link

McIlroy will definitely miss the WGC Invitational that begins on Thursday and will slip behind US Open and Masters champion Jordan Spieth in the world rankings if the American wins at Firestone.