The Northern Irishman was hampered by a back injury at the Tour Championship, picking up the issue ahead of the season-ending event where he was unable to defend his FedExCup crown.
McIlroy revealed that he was unable to even address his ball the day before the tournament began at East Lake, but produced his best round of the week on Sunday as his fitness improved to finish with a 65 as he finished fourth.
Viktor Hovland took home $18million as he sealed a first FedEx Cup title, producing a sensational display to beat Xander Schauffele by five shots.
The focus for McIlroy now shifts to the Irish Open and then the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, before the Ryder Cup in Rome at the end of September. McIlroy confirmed he is feeling positive about his injury situation heading into a big month.
“As the week went on it got looser and [on Sunday] it was pretty close to 100%,” he told Sky Sports.
“I wish I had felt like this the rest of the week but even without a bad back I’m not sure I’d have been able to hang with the two guys in front.”
Hovland’s superb form is a major boost to the European side, as they look to win back the Ryder Cup in Italy. Two years ago, the American team secured a record 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits.
“We’re all sort of making our way over to Europe a couple weeks early,” he said.
“So it will be nice to all get together, get some early team dinners before the week in Rome and sort of really feel like that sort of team chemistry is starting already. I think we’re all excited.
“We’re all, for the most part, playing really good. There’s still a few weeks to go, but it’s the next big thing in all of our calendars.”