No grand return for Chong Wei next month (updated)

  • Badminton
  • Tuesday, 19 Mar 2019

PETALING JAYA: National men's singles ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei will not be making his comeback at the Celcom Axiata Malaysian Open next month after all.

The 36-year-old, who has not competed in any tournament since he was diagnosed with nose cancer in July last year, was slated to defend his Malaysian Open crown at the Axiata Arena from April 2-7, which he had won a record 12 times.

It is learnt that the three-time Olympic silver medallist will have to wait a bit longer after his doctors advised him not to play.

Chong Wei flew to Taiwan over the weekend for a follow-up with his doctors.

When contacted, he confirmed his withdrawal from the Malaysian Open but did not elaborate further.

His withdrawal, however, did not come as a surprise as Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria had told fans last week to lower expectations for his comeback.

Chong Wei has yet to come back into full swing since he returned to training early this year. He has been training on a three-day-a-week basis.

In a statement on Tuesday, BAM said that Chong Wei was well on the road to recovery.

"Following his routine check-up in Taiwan, we are pleased to inform that Datuk Lee Chong Wei has been given a clean bill of health and his recovery process is progressing well.

"However, in order not to put his body under undue stress, Chong Wei has been advised to withdraw from the upcoming Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open 2019.

"BAM's priorities remain focused solely on Chong Wei's health and will continue to offer the 37-year-old unwavering support. We also urge everyone to give him the space and time required for his recovery," said BAM.

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