James advises Tze Yong not to rush recovery

KUALA LUMPUR: Former international Datuk James Selvaraj has offered advice to men's singles shuttler Ng Tze Yong, urging him not to rush his recovery process.

The BA of Malaysia confirmed on Saturday that Tze Yong, still grappling with a back injury, has been withdrawn from the Asian Championships in Ningbo, China, from April 9-14.

As a result, Tze Yong will miss out on the opportunity to earn additional ranking points and secure a place in the top 16 standings for the Race to Paris, thereby jeopardising his chances of qualifying for the Olympics in July.

It also seems doubtful for the Johor-born shuttler to recover in time for the Thomas Cup in Chengdu, China, on April 27-May 5.

James advised Tze Yong to prioritise his recovery since he has missed on an opportunity to qualify for the Paris Games.

While it is heartbreaking to miss out on the world's greatest sporting event, a premature comeback could make thing worse for Tze Yong.

"It is every athlete's dream to qualify for the Olympics, and I feel sorry for Tze Yong because he has to miss it this time.

"We know it is a serious injury, and nothing will change that. Regardless of what happens now, he will not play in Paris.

"My advice to Tze Yong is to focus on his recovery. Don't think about making a comeback anytime soon.

"If he has to skip the Thomas Cup, then do it. It will not change the fact that he will not play in Paris. .

"It's better for Tze Yong to fully recover than to come back and sustain another injury.

"It might be too late, and there can be no comeback after that," said James.

At the start of the season, Tze Yong looked set to join Lee Zii Jia in Paris, but a lower back injury in the first round of the Malaysia Open saw his dreams dive into a free fall.

Tze Yong didn't recover from that injury and only went on to feature in one full match at the Asia Team Championships last month.

After that, Tze Yong sustained a spinal disc injury, which required minor surgery.

In his absence, independent shuttler Zii Jia will be Malaysia's sole representative in the men's singles event at the Olympics.

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