World No.2 Rory McIlroy has officially withdrawn from this week’s Abu Dhabi Championship on the European Tour after succumbing to the injury he sustained during last week’s BMW South African Open.

Described by the Northern Irishman as a back injury in Johannesburg, it turns out McIlroy’s ribs are the concern after an MRI revealed a stress fracture to one rib. He was not impressed.

“To be forced to miss this week through injury is really quite annoying to be perfectly honest,” he said in a statement, before adding: “In situations like this you simply have to listen to the experts, and the team I have consulted have all advised me to rest until my rib has fully recovered.”

The long view on this situation is how it impacts McIlroy’s preparation for the Masters in April, where a victory will complete the career Grand Slam. He was scheduled to play more tournaments than usual leading into the year’s first major, including the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, plus the US PGA Tour’s Genesis Open and Honda Classic, as well as the WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Match Play.

McIlroy’s absence doesn’t rob the Abu Dhabi Championship of all its star power, with Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler still in the field.