Star Indian shuttler HS Prannoy has pulled out of the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament due to a back injury that troubled him during his maiden bronze medal-winning run at the recently-concluded Asian Games. The 31-year-old Indian had battled excruciating back pain to secure India’s first medal in men’s singles in 41 years at Hangzhou but now he will have to sit out for two to three weeks due to the injury. “We are not looking at playing any tournament this month. Something also came up in the MRI as well, so I will have to be out for 2-3 weeks, so I will not be able to play Denmark and France,” Prannoy told PTI.
“I will need to rest and then start with rehab.” In his absence, India’s charge will be led by Lakshya Sen, who will be back on the court after playing a vital role in India’s first-ever silver medal in men’s team event at the Asian Games.
World No. 15 Sen, who remained unbeaten at the Asian Games, will open against Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen and is likely to meet sixth seed Shi Yuqi of China in the second round.
Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu too will look for a good outing after a semifinal finish at the Arctic Open last week. She will be up against Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour.
World No. 20 Kidambi Srikanth, who is also desperately looking to accumulate ranking points to make the cut for the Paris Olympics, will take on China’s Weng Hong Yang in his opening game.
It is going to be a tricky affair for the former world No. 1, who has blown hot and cold throughout the season.
Priyanshu Rajawat, currently ranked No. 30 in the world, will also have his task cut out as he faces world No. 14 Lee Zii Jia, who is brimming with confidence following his title-winning run in the Arctic Open.
Newly-crowned world No. 1 pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who claimed an epic gold at Hangzhou, is pitted against Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.
MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will also miss out after the former suffered a back injury at Hangzhou.
The women’s pairing of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, however, will be back on the court after the Asian Games and will take on Thailand’s Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard.
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