Hendrawan wants Iskandar to spend more time in training

KUCHING: Shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin has been given the clearance to play after coming back from a back injury.

But Project squad chief coach Hendrawan does not want him to go into action too soon.

The Indonesian has withdrawn Iskandar from the men’s singles at the Asian Badminton Cham­pionships (ABC) in Wuhan, China, from April 25-30. Iskandar’s place in the Sudirman Cup mixed team tournament in Gold Coast, Australia, from May 21-28 is also pending.

Iskandar has yet to play this season. His last tournament was at the Macau Open in December where he lost in the second round.

“The good news is that he can play but I don’t want to push it. Sometimes it’s good for us to take one step back in order to move two steps forward,” said Hendrawan.

“I want Iskandar to spend more time in training before going out to compete again. His chances of playing in the Sudirman Cup is 50-50. I’ll decide after observing him in training.”

Hendrawan’s priority is to have Iskandar in tip-top shape for the Aug 19-31 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

With Iskandar out of the ABC, Malaysia will be represented by world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, independent shuttlers Chong Wei Feng and Zulfadli Zulkifli.

There is a chance that Chong Wei and newly-crowned Malaysian Open champion Lin Dan may cross path in the semi-finals.

Chong Wei is in the same half of the draw with fifth seed Tian Houwei of China, Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto and India’s Ajay Jayaram while Lin Dan has seventh seed Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan, Lee Dong-keun of South Korea and Zulfadli for company.

In the lower half of the draw with second seed Chen Long of China are third seed Son Wan-ho of South Korea, Indonesian Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, China’s Shi Yuqi and Wei Feng.

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