PETALING JAYA: Badminton should take a back seat for now for Lee Chong Wei (pic), say former teammates.
Former All-England champion Hafiz Hashim was delighted to learn that the 35-year-old Chong Wei had responded well to his two-month treatment for nose cancer in Taiwan and returned home on Sunday.
Now that Chong Wei is back, the whole nation will be anxiously waiting for Chong Wei to decide on his future.
Many doubt if he would ever play competitive badminton again but it’s an open secret that Chong Wei has never given up on hopes of winning the Olympic gold, which he came close on three occasions previously.
But for Hafiz, he hopes Chong Wei will think of nothing else besides his well-being.
“I believe I will not be the only one to advise him to put his health as No. 1 at this juncture,” said Hafiz.
“I’m not sure if he still harbours hopes of resuming playing and pursue his unfulfilled dreams, but all that matters now for him is to rest and continue his treatment.
“He’s a strong man and just like everyone else, I want to see him recover fully soon, ” added Hafiz.
K. Yogendran, who knew Chong Wei since their junior days, echoed Hafiz’s sentiment but at the same time urged Chong Wei to not rush back to the court if he intends to resume playing.
“We’re all happy to see him back in Malaysia. Playing again or not is a second matter,” said Yogendran.
“What he did for Malaysia in badminton is great ... he has given his all.
“So, as his friend and former teammate, all I want is to see him back healthy again.
“If he’s keen on making a comeback, he should make sure he’s fully healed before doing so.
“He can take his time, as long as he wants, and there’s no need to rush back. Chong Wei is a top professional sportsman and he knows what it takes to get back to the top.”
Chong Wei arrived with his family on Sunday night via a chartered flight at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport but avoided speaking to the media.
However, he did say he would meet the press soon to update on his health condition after a few days of rest.