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Saina Nehwal confident of playing world championships

World number six Saina Nehwal of India said on Thursday she could still play in next month’s badminton world championships despite falling ill with chicken pox.

Nehwal, 19, told media in India she had been advised to take a week’s rest after being diagnosed with chicken pox following a bout of fever last Saturday.

“I decided to see a doctor after pockmarks appeared on my body and he confirmed it was chicken pox,” she said.

“I am very disappointed as the world championship is just around the corner. I will visit the doctor after a few days and see how things go.

“I should be okay in time for the tournament, but I have lost valuable practice time because I had been training really well for the last one month.”

The world championships open in the southern Indian town of Hyderabad on August 10.

Nehwal hit the headlines last month when she won the Indonesian Open in Jakarta, the first Indian to bag a Super Series badminton title.

Former All-England champion Pullela Gopichand, who coaches Nehwal, said the teenager’s participation in the tournament was still uncertain.

“These things happen in life, its sheer bad luck,” said Gopichand. “The doctor said she just needs to take rest and that is what she is doing. We can only wait and see how she shapes up.”

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