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Rory McIlroy gearing up for possible return from injury at PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy gearing up for possible return from injury at PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland practices April 6 at Augusta National Golf Club before the start of the Masters. (Timothy A. Clary / Getty Images)

The PGA Championship is less than a week away. Its reigning champion, Rory McIlroy, is signaling that he's close to returning to competitive play too.

McIlroy posted an Instagram on Thursday of himself taking a tee shot with a driver, the first images of the No. 1 golfer in the world swinging a club since tearing a ligament in his left ankle while playing soccer before the Scottish Open.

He was forced to withdraw from that tournament and the ensuing British Open, but with the final major of the year coming up, McIlroy appears to be readying to defend his PGA Championship title.

Feels good to hit the driver again! ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

A video posted by Rory McIlroy (@rorymcilroy) on

Last year, McIlroy won the British Open followed by the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and then the PGA Championship en route to an $8.2-million war chest of winnings for the year.

McIlroy hasn't made any official announcements about his return yet, but Wednesday he posted another clip of himself putting all of his weight on the injured ankle during a workout.

Working hard every day to come back stronger #dontmindthegrind

A video posted by Rory McIlroy (@rorymcilroy) on

McIlroy has won two events this year, the WGC-Cadillac Match play and the Wells Fargo Championship. The 26-year-old has missed the cut once and and has just one finish outside of the top 10 and that was a tie for 11th.

The PGA Championship begins Aug. 13 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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