• Kyodo


World No. 1 men’s badminton player Kento Momota might be able to leave the hospital in Malaysia on Wednesday and should be able to return to practice in roughly a month, according to a representative of the medical institution where he is being treated for the injuries he sustained in a car crash earlier this week.

Siv Azhar Merican Abdullah, a department director at Putrajaya Hospital, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, told reporters Tuesday that Momota suffered a slight fracture to his nose in the accident, but because the injuries were not so serious, there will be “no effect” on his ability to play over the longer term.

The accident occurred just hours after Momota won the Malaysia Masters men’s singles.

A van carrying the shuttler crashed into a truck on a highway on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur early Monday morning, killing the driver and injuring Momota and three other passengers. They were heading to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The four are expected to remain hospitalized for another night.

Asked when Momota can leave, the doctor said, “Definitely not today.” But he added, “He is in good hands. Don’t worry.”

In a statement late Monday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia said Momota and the others were “recovering well” at a hospital, but they were being kept under close observation on the advice of doctors.

Receiving care at the hospital along with Momota are coach Yu Hirayama, trainer Akifumi Morimoto and William Thomas, a British technical , adviser for the Badminton World Federation.

Momota, who won 11 international meets last year, is hoping to become Japan’s first Olympic badminton gold medalist in men’s singles at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

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