David Morris hasn’t entered the Bulgarian Open this week and has revealed to SnookerHQ that a back injury sustained a couple of months ago is the cause.
The Irishman had been one of the star performers on the Main Tour last season outside of the regular heavy-hitters inside the world’s top 16 rankings.
Having missed the 2012/13 campaign after being relegated from the circuit, the Kilkenny cueist immediately returned via Q-School and subsequently reached the quarter-finals of the 2013 Wuxi Classic.
Morris followed that up with a run to the last 16 of the UK Championship in York and other positive performances brought him to within the cusp of breaking into the world’s top 64 once again, a feat he has since achieved already this season.
With no money to defend during his second year back, the 25 year-old had been widely expected to continue his surge up the rankings list but the occurrence of this injury might prove to be an untimely setback.
“I have had a very serious back injury which I got about 8 weeks ago now,” Morris shared today on the eve of the third European Tour event in Sofia. “It happened in the gym and came out of nowhere.”
“I had two herniated disks in my lower back along with a slipped sacroiliac joint and have only played in competitions I consider a must.
“Doctors and physios have advised me to do lots of rehab before playing again but I have played in more than I have been advised to. I can’t practice for long and some days I can’t play at all due to this.
“They told me to be very careful with it as it can be a long term issue. This is why I haven’t been able to compete in 100% of competitions this season but I’m doing everything I can to play in ones that are important money and ranking wise.”
That Morris was able to overcome the challenge of England’s John Astley a week ago in order to qualify for the lucrative International Championship was a minor achievement in itself, given that a back injury is undoubtedly one of the worst areas of the body for a snooker player to be having problems with.
For this reason, it’s probably been a blessing in disguise that there have been so many breaks in tournament play so far this season and that the intense action doesn’t get under way for another while yet, giving Morris slightly more time to recover.
“It’s a case of just keep doing the rehab. It may take many months but at the minute I’m doing physio once a week.”
“They said this could be a recurring thing now once it’s been damaged but I’m hopeful it won’t be too bad. It’s very frustrating because it affects simple things such as walking.”
An unfortunate set of circumstances then for Morris who will be hoping that winning further encounters in Chengdu will prove to be the best medicine.