Can­cer-hit Lee an­nounces bad­minton come­back bid

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10, 2018 (AFP) - Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei said he plans to re­turn to bad­minton af­ter suc­cess­ful treat­ment for nose can­cer, in­sist­ing he had no in­ten­tion of re­tir­ing.

The ex-world num­ber one said he could re­sume train­ing as early as next month and was tar­get­ing a com­pet­i­tive come­back at the All Eng­land Open in March.

"I fin­ished all my treat­ment... and have re­cov­ered very well," a cheer­ful and healthy-look­ing Lee, 36, told a press con­fer­ence in Kuala Lumpur.

"I want to come back to court," he said, adding: "As of now, I am not re­tir­ing."

The three-time Olympic sil­ver medal­list was mak­ing his first pub­lic ap­pear­ance since his shock di­ag­no­sis was an­nounced in Septem­ber.

Lee, who re­turned from treat­ment in Tai­wan last month, said it was his "dream" to play in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which would be his fifth Sum­mer Games.

"I think qual­ify (for the Tokyo Olympics) should be no prob­lem for me," he said, but added that his health was his cur­rent pri­or­ity.

"I just try my very best be­cause I love my coun­try... and I love bad­minton," he said.

The player how­ever con­ceded that if his health does not im­prove enough, he may have to hang up his rac­quet: "If my con­di­tion is good, I will con­tinue. If I can't, I will stop."

Lee, who en­joys su­per­star sta­tus in Malaysia, was di­ag­nosed with early- stage nose can­cer, forc­ing him to pull out of the Asian Games and world cham­pi­onships.

The fa­ther of two said that when he found out about the ill­ness, "I was cry­ing for a week, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep".

On the ad­vice of his doc­tors he trav­elled to Tai­wan for treat­ment, dur­ing which he lost five ki­los (11 pounds).

Malaysia's bad­minton player Lee Chong Wei at­tends a press con­fer­ence in Kuala Lumpur

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