Nick Matthew admits he his facing a race against time to be fit for next week’s British Open Squash Championship in Hull.
Sheffield’s three-time world champion suffered an ankle injury at the El Gouna International tournament in Egypt last month.
And the nature of the injury has kept Matthew off the court until this week, hampering his preparations for the British Open, one of the biggest tournaments of the squash calendar.
“It’s been very difficult to assess the severity of the injury because it’s bruising inside the joint,” Matthew told the Telegraph. “So we’ve not really known how hard we can push it in training.
“Most injuries you can look at and have a really good idea how long it’s going to take to recover from but there’s a lot of grey area with an injury like this.
“I’ve stayed off the court until this week and I’m slowly building up the intensity levels when I’m out there.
“We’re looking to have a match-level practice session by the weekend and only then will we really know what condition I’m going to be in for next week.
“It’s not ideal not being able to practice at the top level for an event I really want to win.
“Right now I’d say that I will be competing next week but I’ll not know for definite until the weekend.”
Former High Storrs pupil Matthew has hinted he would push himself to compete next week as the British Open is the last event of the current squash season.
He said: “It’s like a footballer getting injured with two games of a big promotion race to go. You’d probably push yourself through it knowing you’ve got the summer to fully recover.”
The British Open starts on Monday.