BACK STILL AN IS­SUE

Iskan­dar yet to fully re­cover as he races against time to be ready for Sudirman Cup

New Straits Times - - Sport -

FABIAN PETER fabian.mark@nst.com.my

DE­SPITE feel­ing happy to make the Sudirman Cup squad, na­tional sin­gles shut­tler Iskan­dar Zulka­r­nain Zainuddin has ad­mit­ted he is still far from his best and is now fight­ing against time to re­cover fully from a back in­jury.

The 26-year-old — who suf­fered a dou­ble slipped disc early this year — has not seen com­pet­i­tive ac­tion since the Ma­cau Open in De­cem­ber.

“Of course I am happy to get back on court but I am still not 100 per cent ready.

“Hav­ing not played for so long, my back feels sore and it lim­its my move­ment.

“I only started train­ing on court two weeks ago and I’m slowly re­gain­ing my strength,” said Iskan­dar, who was also part of the Thomas Cup squad in Kun­shan, China last year.

On how he feels to be se­lected ahead of some of his fit­ter ju­niors, Iskan­dar added: “I per­son­ally feel that my record in team events has been rea­son­ably good.

“Of course, I now need to quickly find the rhythm and tour­na­ment feel, but I think I am ready.

“I am look­ing for­ward to the com­pe­ti­tion and I believe Malaysia will do well.”

The mixed team event in Gold Coast, Aus­tralia on May 21-28 sees Malaysia in Group 1C along­side 2014 Thomas Cup cham­pi­ons Ja­pan and Ger­many.

Malaysia’s best show­ing at the Sudirman Cup was in the 2009 edi­tion in Guangzhou where they reached the semi­fi­nals.

Other play­ers in the squad this year in­clude World No 1 Lee Chong Wei, men’s dou­bles Goh V Shem,Tan Wee Kiong, Ong Yew Sin, Teo Ee Yi, women’s sin­gles Goh Jin Wei, Soniia Cheah Su Ya, women’s dou­bles Vi­vian Hoo Kah Mun, Woon Khe Wei, Chow Mei Kuan, Lee Meng Yean and mixed dou­bles’ Tan Kian Meng, Lai Pei Jing, Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See.

I only started train­ing on court two weeks ago and I’m slowly re­gain­ing my strength.

ISKAN­DAR ZULKA­R­NAIN ZAINUDDIN

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