Viktor Axelsen undergoes surgery, highly doubtful for All England Open
What’s the story?
World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen recently underwent an ankle surgery which has rendered him highly doubtful for the prestigious All England Open to be held from 14-18 March. The world champion announced the news on his Instagram account, adding that he is now looking at a recovery period of 3-5 weeks.
In case you didn’t know
The world champion picked up in 2018 from where he left last season. He won his first tournament of the year -- the Malaysia Masters. With that stellar performance, he very much looked like an early contender for the All England Open title, until injury struck him the very next week at the Indonesia Masters.
Due to that, the Dane could not defend his title at the India Open.
The heart of the matter
Axelsen suffered the ankle injury during his second round clash with the World No. 21 Kazumasa Sakai at the Indonesia Masters. The top-ranked shuttler was coming off a title win at the Malaysia Masters and was expected to continue his winning streak.
But he made a bad landing on his left foot towards the end of a very competitive first game and was ultimately forced to retire in the second, while trailing 20-22, 7-11. The Dane opted for rest with the hope that the ankle would heal fully but it provided him little relief.
After consulting with multiple experts, Axelsen then went ahead with a surgery last Thursday to remove the debris that was getting caught in the ankle joint. While there was no cartilage damage, the surgical procedure will keep him away for 3-5 weeks. The numero uno player expressed his disappointment at his likely pullout from the All England Open.
If Axelsen misses the All England Open, his comeback will likely be at the European Championships, where he reached the semi-finals last year. It is scheduled to be held from 24-29 April.
It is indeed a major setback, especially after the way he began the season. At the same time, it is extremely importance that a player allows himself proper recovery time so that the problem does not become a recurring issue.
Axelsen talked about exactly that in his post and will surely not rush things.