Rory McIlroy: Injury forces world number two out of Dubai Desert Classic
World number two Rory McIlroy has pulled out of next week's Dubai Desert Classic as he continues to recover from a rib injury.
McIlroy withdrew from last week's Abu Dhabi Championship when a scan revealed a stress fracture after he had played in the South Africa Open.
The Northern Irishman, 27, is continuing to undergo rehabilitation.
The European Tour announced McIlroy's withdrawal from the event where he won his first professional title in 2009.
McIlroy complained about back pain during the South African event, at which he lost in a play-off to England's Graeme Storm.
The four-time major winner played in Johannesburg with his back taped up and having taken anti-inflammatory tablets.
Former world number one Tiger Woods is scheduled to be in the field in Dubai.
McIlroy's withdrawal from next week's European Tour event will be regarded as a further setback to his preparations for the Masters in April, when he will aim to complete the career Grand Slam.