Chong Wei to miss All-England after fall on slippery mat

Bad start to the year: Lee Chong Wei tore his medial collateral ligament (MCL) on his left knee after a fall at the Academy Badminton Malaysia on Saturday.

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is upset with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) after he was ruled out of the All-England due to an injury.

The 34-year-old Chong Wei tore his medial collateral ligament (MCL) on his left knee when he slipped and fell at the newly-opened Academy Badminton Malaysia on Saturday. The national team moved to their new national training centre last Tuesday.

He is expected to be out of action for three to six weeks and will miss the Superseries season opener in Birmingham from March 7-12.

Chong Wei said that the BAM could have prevented the unfortunate incident if they had listened to his request to change the slippery court mats.

“This injury could have been avoided,” said a frustrated Chong Wei.

“I told my coach Hendrawan about the slippery condition after Chong Yee Han fell last week. I wasn’t comfortable playing on it and so did the other players.

“Hendrawan informed Morten Frost (technical director) and Lawrence (Chew, general manager) but nothing was done then.”

Chong Wei added that the BAM only changed the mats on three of the 18 courts on Sunday.

“They waited for an incident to happen before they did something about it ... this shouldn’t be the way,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be angry if it happened in a different scenario ... but I suffered an injury because the national body failed to take immediate actions.”

The three-time All-England champion was sad to miss the oldest tournament which had attracted his two biggest threat China’s Lin Dan and Chen Long.

Chong Wei also said that he had feared for his career when he fell.

“My first thought was I didn’t want to end my career like this. I went for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) immediately and they told me I had a torn MCL. Thankfully it’s not as serious as I thought but I still need some time to recover.”

National coach Hendrawan said it was certainly a disappointing start to the year for Chong Wei.

“He was so fired up to train after the Chinese New Year. I sympathise with him because he has not played for some time and has been preparing well and this had to happen.”

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