KUALA LUMPUR: The stage is set for national singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei (pic) to begin full-swing training with his teammates on Monday.
It’s the first big step for the former world No. 1, who has been mostly focusing on his conditioning in the gymnasium three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays before the Chinese New Year break.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann said they were ready to facilitate Chong Wei’s return.
The 36-year-old has been out of competition since July last year after being diagnosed with nose cancer.
“Chong Wei will try his best to follow the daily training routine on Monday according to the intensity that is acceptable,” said Choong Hann.
“He has not followed a programme 100% yet, but he understands his body and recovery rate better than any of us – he is like his own coach – so we’ll give him the space.
“What needs to be done will be done – in the gym, running track, court and skill workouts, all-round game and tactics – but we’ll adjust the intensity and the recovery time according to his progress.
“All of us, including Chong Wei, are hoping to follow the complete training programme, but we must assess the situation from time to time.”
Chong Wei had targeted to return for the All-England in March but had to abort his plan following his doctor’s advice.
The three-time Olympic Games silver medallist wants to make a return to defend his title at the Malaysian Open in April.
He holds the record of having won it 12 times.
Last year, he won it in superb style by defeating the current world No. 1 and reigning world champion Kento Momota of Japan in the final.
Choong Hann confirmed that they would proceed with the plan and submit his name for the Malaysian Open before entry list closes on Feb 19.
“We will enter his name for the home tournament according to his wishes and follow the training schedule that has been planned and discussed with him.
“But his participation in the Malaysian Open will depend on how comfortable he feels with his body and pending the green light from his doctor in Taiwan.
“He will go for his final check-up next month.”