PETALING JAYA: Six national shuttlers, who were tested positive for Covid-19, should be able to get back on their feet before returning to action next month.
The good news is that none of them are part of the team’s next assignment, the Indian Open in New Delhi from May 11-16.
Two have been entered for the Spain Masters in Huelva the following week (May 18-23), while the other four are most likely to be named for the back-to-back seventh-tier Slovenian International in Maribor (May 19-22) and Austrian Open in Graz (May 27-30).
Hence, these players, who are all asymptomatic, should have had at least two weeks of solid preparation once they returned for training.
After all, they can take heart with the fact that some shuttlers did prove that Covid-19 was not a hindrance to them in making a strong comeback after recovering from the disease.
For instance, world No. 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark went on to win the World Tour Finals in Bangkok in January, barely a month after contracting Covid-19.
India’s world No. 30 H. S. Prannoy too, upon recovering from the virus, performed admirably well against two world top 10 opponents during the Asian legs of the World Tour in January.
He went down fighting in three games to Lee Zii Jia in the first round of Thailand Open I and then upset Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie to reach the last 16 in the Thailand Open II the following week.
But Prannoy did note that the Covid-19 could affect one mentally.
“It’s a very different kind of illness, ” said Prannoy.
“The major problem is psychological. If you feel any pain, you think it’s due to Covid-19. Mentally, you are very stressed for two weeks, because you don’t know what’s going to happen, and doctors aren’t able to tell you either.
“My condition never went bad, but you don’t know what it’s doing to your body.”
But it’s worth noting that the effect of Covid-19 varies from individual to individual.
England mixed doubles ace Gabrielle Adcock was one who had been severely affected by the Covid-19, as she and her husband Chris had not been able to return to competition after fthe former first contracted Covid-19 in late December.
The world No. 14 have missed the All-England last month and will not defend their European Championship title next week.
THE SQUAD FOR SPAIN MASTERS
Men’s singles: Soong Joo Ven, Cheam June Wei, Ng Tze Yong (r), Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin (r), Leong Jun Hao (r) and Lim Chong King (r).
Men’s doubles: Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun and Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jie (r)
Women’s singles: S. Kisona and Goh Jin Wei.
Women’s doubles: Yap Cheng Wen-Anna Cheong, Yap Rui Chen-Yap Yee.
*(r) Indicates players in reserve list