Badminton Life

Lee's Coach Misbun in Hospital

Misbun Sidek, the man behind the success of Malaysian number one men's singles player Lee Chong Wei, has been admitted to hospital because of illness.

Misbun, who has guided Lee throughout his career, had to be re-admitted to the Tawakkal Hospital in Kuala Lumpur because of a suspected lung infection.

The former Malaysian number one recently returned from performing the Muslim pilgrimage of Haj, to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, where he first fell ill.

In an interview with the New Straits Times newspaper, Misbun said: "I was asked to stay in hospital for observation for one night and was discharged. But I did not get well and I experienced severe pains in my body last night.

"I could not stand the pain and I asked (brothers) Rashid and Jalani to send me to hospital. I don't know how long I will be in hospital but I have a feeling it's going to be longer stay this time."

For Misbun to make such a statement is unusual because he is normally super fit and would like nothing better than to be on the sidelines coaching Lee and his other charges.

However, he has his mobile phone handy and will always be available to give Lee advice.

"If I listened to my heart, I hoped to be out there to coach the players. I am seldom sick but this is the worst. I've been away from the badminton court for more than a month and I hope to recover soon," said Misbun.

"But if I cannot make it in time, Chong Wei and the others will have to go on without me again. I'll keep in touch with him on the handphone."

Lee recently won the World Super Series Masters Finals, which was his first title as world number one.

That means he can go into the new year as the top player in the world. With Chinese players still absent from the international circuit because of a three-month training camp, Misbun is hopeful that Lee can capitalise on the situation and perform well in next month's Malaysian Open.

He was quoted as saying: "I am happy that he has maintained his position as the world number one into the new year. It's also a good experience for him as it builds up his own confidence.

"I am glad that he has complete faith in me. I asked him to skip the Hong Kong Open as he was complaining of some pain in his foot after the China Open. It was better for him to prepare for the Masters Finals and I am glad he shared the same feelings.

"He has to maintain his performance and make at least the final (in Malaysia). But he can expect it to be tough even though he is playing on home ground because everyone will be out to beat him."

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