Kuala Lumpur: The fighter that he is, Lee Chong Wei has proved in the past that it’s not easy to write him off. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) men’s singles head coach – Misbun Sidek, believed Malaysia’s badminton icon Lee Chong Wei is ready to play his first tournament at Malaysia Open that will be held from April 2 to April 10 at Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur.
This will be Lee’s first tournament in about 9 months after successful treatment for his early-stage nose cancer.
“I have no doubt Chong Wei can play at the Malaysia Open, but it depends whether he wanted to just participate or to win the tournament,” said Sidek.
Sidek was happy to see Lee has been making great progress since returning to official training early January, and expected Lee to step up his training after the Chinese New Year holiday.
“Chong Wei is a very determined competitor. He has strong desire and is eager to return to play the competitive badminton,” added Sidek.
Lee Chong Wei’s last appearance on the court was at the Indonesia Open in July last year, where he lost to the current World No. 1 Kento Momota in the semi-final. He then was diagnosed with nose cancer and went to Taiwan to receive treatment.
After a 6-month lay-off from the sport, his World ranking has dropped from World No. 2 to World No. 31 in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
“Chong Wei has been working out in the gymnasium three times a week, but he is still not at 100% yet.”
“I am confident that he will gradually return to his peak form soon,” said Sidek.
Lee had previously planned to play his first tournament of the year at the All England in March, but had to postpone his return after listening to doctor’s advice.