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Phil Mickelson defends Rory McIlroy over injury suffered playing football

Former Open champion Phil Mickelson insists that "you can't live your life in fear" after fellow golfer Rory McIlroy ruptured his ankle ligaments playing football.

Phil Mickelson has become the latest player to defend fellow golfer Rory McIlroy after the world number one ruptured his ankle ligaments playing football with his friends just 10 days before The Open.

McIlroy announced yesterday in a photo on Instagram of him wearing a protective boot that he had suffered a "total rupture" of his left ankle.

Although it has not been confirmed, McIlroy is highly unlikely to be able to defend The Open at St Andrews next week, but 2013 champion Mickelson said that "you can't live your life in fear".

When asked whether McIlroy could be criticised, Mickelson told reporters ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open: "I can't talk about that for the simple reason I did it myself. In '94 I snapped my femur in half before The Masters.

"I said then, and I feel the same way now, you can't live your life in fear. You have to enjoy the moment. I didn't feel like anything [McIlroy] was doing was unnecessary risk. He was just playing around and accidents happen.

"People get hurt taking a shower and doing normal day-to-day things. You can't stop living your life. It's unfortunate that it happened. Hopefully he'll heal soon and be back at it. If he can't play next week, certainly by the PGA [Championship] I would hope."

McIlroy is also reigning PGA champion and will hope to be fit to play at Whistling Straits, with the tournament starting next month on August 13.

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Rory McIlroy strikes a pose during day two of the Irish Open on May 29, 2015
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