Iskandar set­back for Sea Games

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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.

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