Injured Japanese badminton star Momota out for two months

The 25-year-old Japanese suffered cuts and bruising in the accident near Kuala Lumpur but is aiming to return at the All England Open Championships on March 11.

World No. 1 Momota Kento of Japan, who suffered a broken nose in a traffic accident in Malaysia on Monday, will not play in any competitions until March, the Japanese Badminton Association said on Tuesday.

Momota, who also suffered injuries to his lip and face, will fly back to Japan on Wednesday, said Zeniya Kinji, secretary general of the association.

Zeniya told the Japanese news agency Kyodo that Momota will be forced out of the Asian team championships in February but will be ready to defend his singles title in the All England Open Championships to start in Birmingham on March 11.

The van carrying Momota early on Monday to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport collided with a 30-ton lorry from behind, killing the Malaysian driver of the van.

The other passengers on the van were UK badminton court official William Thomas, Japanese assistant coach Yu Hirayama and physiologist Arkifuki Morimoto. They all sustained injuries to their faces and hands, among others, the Malaysian police said in a statement.

Momota, who missed the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics due to a suspension for illegal gambling, won 11 international meets last year and is hoping to become Japan's first Olympic badminton gold medalist in the men's singles at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. 

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