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Sameer Verma eyes a return at Thailand Open after a spate of injuries

Following his withdrawal from the contest for the top spot in BAI’s selection trials due to a fitness issue, former world number 11 Sameer Verma announced on Tuesday that he will be out of play for a few weeks and hopes to return at the Thailand Open, that takes place in May this year.

“I had some issue with hip muscle and also shoulder. It is not anything serious but I didn’t want to take a chance. The competition is tough and you just cannot win matches if you are not 100 percent fit,” Sameer told PTI on the sidelines of the trials. “I will take a few weeks’ break. I hope to play at Thailand Open.” Beginning on April 26, the Indian team will compete in the Asian Badminton Championships, followed by the Thomas and Uber Cups (May 8-15, Bangkok). The Thailand Open Super 500 will take place in Bangkok from May 17 to 22.

Last year, the 27-year-old from Madhya Pradesh seemed in fine form, winning convincingly against Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Denmark’s Anders Antonsen after withdrawing from the quarterfinals due to a calf injury. He also competed in the French Open Super 750 the following week but withdrew in the second round. He focussed on his recovery in the next two months before turning up in the first two events in India’s leg — India Open Super 500 and Syed Modi International Super 300.

He was eliminated in the first round of the All-England Club before retiring in the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open. When the selection trials for the Thomas & Uber Cup, Commonwealth Games (July 28-August 8, Birmingham), and Asian Games (Hangzhou, September 10-25) were announced, Sameer decided to participate and finished in the top four before withdrawing. “I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made at Denmark Open last year,” he signed off.

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