KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s preparation for next month’s All-England took a blow after he picked up an injury during a training session.
Two-time All-England champion Chong Wei revealed on Friday that an ankle injury is threatening to derail his plans of a good outing in the prestigious tournament from March 4-9.
“I had this pain on my ankle (left leg) before my exhibition match in China (Lingshui on Sunday). In fact, my partner Lin Dan had to cover for me most of the time during the match,” said Chong Wei.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei had teamed up with five-time world champion Lin Dan of China in a doubles match against four-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China during the exhibition match, which was held in conjunction with the opening of a new training centre.
“When I came back home, I could not enjoy full training. For the last few days (since Tuesday), I have been doing light training and getting treatment. I am not sure what triggered it but the swelling is still there,” added Chong Wei.
For the time being though, top seed Chong Wei has no plans to withdraw from the All-England.
“I have another week to go before the All-England. Hopefully, I will be in better condition. I just need to be mentally stronger to handle the situation during the competition,” said Chong Wei.
With Chong Wei not being at his best this time, it will be difficult for Malaysia to bank on him to deliver the goods. He has reached every final since the edition in 2009, winning twice in 2010 and 2011.
Chong Wei is in the top half of the draw with fourth seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark, fifth seed Kenichi Tago of Japan and seventh seed Du Pengyu of China. He may meet Pengyu in the quarter-finals if all goes according to the formbook.
Malaysia will also be represented by Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren. Wei Feng will take on Marc Zwiebler of Germany in the opening round. If he wins, he will most likely take on Chong Wei.
Daren will start from the qualifying tournament and has been drawn to play Wei Nan of Hong Kong in the first round. If he wins, he has to play the winner of the match between Korean Lee Dong-keun and Malaysian Zulfadli Zulkiffli to earn the right to play against Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in the main draw.
Defending champion and second seed Chen Long, who defeated Chong Wei in convincing fashion in last year’s final, is now widely tipped to win the title.