Looks like Malaysia's chance of landing the Thomas Cup is diminishing by the minute.
Malaysia's national badminton hero Lee Chong Wei was forced to pull out of the ongoing Thomas Cup Finals after he suffered a severe ankle sprain during his Group C match against Denmark's Peter-Gade Christensen earlier today.
The national skipper was tipped to beat his close friend and long-time rival Christensen in the first singles, but he limped out of the court after landing awkwardly when he was retrieving a shot near the baseline just four minutes into the match. The tournament doctors rushed to his side, but Chong Wei managed to stand up and limped his way to the umpire and called it quits.
According to The Star, the world number one was later seen crying in pain as he was wheeled out of the Wuhan Sports Gymnasium Centre and taken to a hospital nearby in an ambulance.
During a press conference later, national singles chief coach Rashid Sidek said that the 29-year-old's condition looked serious and "his ankle is very swollen", but the real extent of his injury has yet to be determined.
Rashid was quoted of saying: "He may have to get it scanned and see the depth of the injury. We have decided that he would not play in the Thomas Cup Finals. We want him to have enough rest before the Olympic Games in London.
"He was crying and was so emotional. He must have been thinking about the Olympic Games too. For now, all he needs is some rest and time to regain his confidence."
Without Chong Wei, the Malaysian team now has to depend on youngsters Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng and the experienced Mohd Hafiz Hashim to carry on the fight.