Seoul: Former World No. 1 and current World No. 6 men’s singles player Son Wan-Ho of Korea ruptured his left Achilles tendon during a match against Lee Hyun-Il in the 57th Korean National Badminton men’s singles tournament held at Badminton Gymnasium in Milyang City, South Gyeongsang Province on Saturday.
Son seemed to be in a lot of pain immediately after the injury, as he laid on the court while medical staff rushed to his side to inspect his condition.
He was then taken off the court on a stretcher, and no further information has been released about his injury. However, Son is expected to undergo surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles. After his surgery, it’s going to take him several months to go through rehabilitation, and that would be a huge loss for Korean badminton especially during the Olympic qualifying period.
Whether or not Son Wan-ho who won the Malaysian Masters World Tour Super 500 competition early this year by defeating Chen Long 21-17, 21-19, could come back to competitive badminton remain to be seen.
In other sports, such as NBA, fewer than half of NBA players who suffered a complete Achilles tendon tear returned to play for more than one season, and 39% never return to play at all.
Some of the notable NBA players who suffered torn Achilles’ tendons including Kobe Bryant of LA Lakers, John Wall of Washington Wizards, and DeMarcus Cousins of Golden State Warriors.
The current coaching director of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Wong Choong Hann also injured himself by snapping an Achilles tendon while playing in a 2006 Thomas Cup quarter final match against South Korea. Wong was required to rest for almost 6 months. He made a comeback to the sport in the Asian Games later in 2006 but was clearly far from his best form.
China’s star hurdler and the 2004 Olympic champion Liu Xiang had to go through a long recovery from a right Achilles tendon injury which eventually forced him to retire from the sport.
Meanwhile, on March, 2010, football star David Beckham of England completely tore his left Achilles tendon while playing for AC Milan in an Italian Series A game.