Tze Yong unsure of playing in Thomas Cup

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will hold another round of discussions with its management team before deciding whether Ng Tze Yong is fit enough to play in the Thomas Cup in Chengdu, China from April 27 to May 5.

Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) coaching director Rexy Mainaky said the world number 18 Tze Yong was scheduled to undergo an MRI scan at the National Sports Institute (NSI) today to determine his level of fitness.

“In the case of Tze Yong, we are not sure. I will discuss this with Michelle Chai (ABM administration director). For now, we cannot say he is not going (for Thomas Cup) but we coaches and the management have done our best.

“At our last meeting, his coach himself said Tze Yong wanted to play. However, now Hendrawan said the doctor seems confused about Tze Yong’s condition. But it’s better to get a clearer picture from the doctor,” he told reporters after a training session at ABM here today.

Tze Yong had undergone surgery in February to treat a back injury he suffered at the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) 2024 in Shah Alam, Selangor.

The 23-year-old failed to qualify for the Paris Olympics scheduled for July 26 to Aug 11 and also withdrew from the just-concluded Badminton Asia Championships in Ningbo, China.

Rexy said it is still possible to name a replacement for Tze Yong in the Thomas Cup team provided the substitute is ranked lower than him. 

“Now we have five players and in the current situation Eogene Ewe (world no. 201) is the favourite to take his place,” he said.

Rexy said 2022 world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei will join the Thomas Cup training camp tomorrow while Sze Fei’s partner Nur Izzudin Rumsani will check in on Thursday.

BAM has listed Lee Zii Jia, Tze Yong, Leong Jun Hao, Cheam June Wei, Justin Hoh, Aaron, Wooi Yik, Sze Fei, Nur Izzuddin and Muhammad Haikal Nazri for the Thomas Cup challenge.

Malaysia are seeded fifth and placed in Group D with 2016 champions Denmark, Hong Kong and Algeria in the Thomas Cup tournament.