Malaysia's world number one Lee Chong Wei sustained a serious ankle injury at the Thomas Cup Tuesday, hobbling off in tears to leave his Olympic dreams hanging in the balance.
"He will not take part in any more matches at the Thomas Cup," said Malaysia singles coach Rashid Sidek. "We do not know the extent of the injury. We must focus on getting him fit for the Olympics."
Lee landed awkwardly after going two points ahead in his match against Denmark's Peter Gade. Doctors rushed onto court but the tearful player was in visible pain and taken away for scans and treatment at a nearby hospital.
Sidek said they had considered flying Lee immediately back to Malaysia from the tournament in China for treatment, a mark of how serious his condition could be.
The injury scare is the latest in a run of problems to hit Lee as he aims to win an elusive Olympic gold medal in London since his arch-rival Lin Dan beat him in Beijing four years ago.
Before arriving in Wuhan, Lee had been dogged with injury, influenza and a series of disappointing results.
At the India Open in April, Lee was stunned in the final by the unseeded South Korean Wan Ho Shon, who beat him in a three-game, 66-minute thriller.
That defeat came a month after Lee was forced to retire against Lin from the All-England Championships final.
Just ahead of the Thomas Cup, Lee was struck with flu and unable to join his teammates for early training, but had looked fit and focused in his first group match against South Africa.
Sidek had said the Thomas Cup was key for Lee ahead of the Olympics.
"Mentally he is prepared for the Olympics. The Thomas Cup is the main part of preparation. If he does well here it will boost his confidence, especially if he plays Lin Dan and beats him," the coach said on Monday.