Iskandar setback for Sea Games
MALAYSIA’S badminton team for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games could be further diluted as World No 28 Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin is doubtful for the biennial event due to a serious back injury.
Lee Chong Wei has confirmed he will not play in the Sea Games on Aug 19-31 as he will be heading to Glasgow for the World Championships.
If Iskandar, 26, does not recover, the BA of Malaysia (BAM) will have to select other players from the special squad programme comprising Soo Teck Zhi, Soong Joo Ven, Chong Yee Han and Lim Chi Wing for the men’s singles and team event.
In the 2015 Singapore edition, Chong Wei Feng defeated Arif Latif in an all-Malaysian singles final. Wei Feng, who has quit BAM, is unlikely to be picked to defend his title.
Iskandar has not played a tournament since his first round exit from the Macau Open last December.
“I may not be able to return for the Sea Games. It is the first time I am down with a very serious injury. My doctor already told me not to put too much hope on recovering for the Sea Games,” said Iskandar in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
“He told me to be patient. My coaches have also advised me to focus on recovery.”
Iskandar has withdrawn from next month’s Malaysia Open, Singapore Open and Asia Championships. He is also unlikely to make it for the Sudirman Cup in Australia on May 21-28.
“I think it is best for me to get better first as I do not want to aggravate my injury. I am already planning for 2018, where my focus is the Asian Games,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chong Wei has withdrawn from the India Open on March 28-April 2 as he wants to focus on rehabilitating his left knee.
“The knee does not hurt anymore but he wants to put in more work in rehab to avoid a recurrence.
“He will also focus on training for the Malaysia Open in Kuching on April 4-9,” said coach Tey Seu Bock. Ajitpal Singh
Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin is doubtful for the Sea Games.