According to a source today, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the 36-year-old player is now in Taiwan for medical treatment. Pic by NSTP/YAZIT RAZALI

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Chong Wei, it is learnt, is facing a serious health problem which will most likely bring his illustrious career to a premature end as he undergoes treatment.

According to a source today, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the 36-year-old player is now in Taiwan for medical treatment.

And there is every likelihood, the three-time Olympic silver medallist will have to hang up his racket.

If this happens, his participation in the Indonesia Open, where he bowed out in the semi-finals on July 7, would be his last international outing after a 17-year career.

Chong Wei’s health issue made the headlines after the BA of Malaysia (BAM) confirmed that he was withdrawing from the World Championships in Nanjing, China which begin on Monday and the Asian Games in Indonesia from August 19 to 28.

According to a statement issued by the national badminton association last Tuesday, Chong Wei was facing breathing problems, and he would need to rest for a month to undergo treatment and would not take part in any form of physical activities.

“This is very sad news when our badminton hero, who has contributed so much to the country, is suddenly facing health problems,” said the source.

“Everybody knows that he is a model athlete who always takes good care of his health and fitness.

“What we can do now is pray that Chong Wei makes a full, speedy recovery.”

Meanwhile, Chong Wei could not be reached for comment yesterday on the matter.

In his illustrious career, Chong Wei has won 69 titles on the international stage and his best achievement is winning three Olympic silver medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016, and emerging as runner-up in the World Championships thrice as well in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Now is the time for Malaysians to pray for Chong Wei’s full recovery after what he has done for the country and the sport.