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O'Sullivan comeback delayed by illness

ESPN staff
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Ronnie O'Sullivan has hinted at retirement this year © PA Photos
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Ronnie O'Sullivan's comeback has been further delayed by the news he has pulled out of the International Championship, which starts on Sunday in China.

O'Sullivan has spent six months on the sidelines since his World Championship win earlier this year, and admitted earlier this week he was finding it hard to muster the motivation to return.

"I am struggling to get back into it and I am regretting signing up even for the tournaments I have done," O'Sullivan told the Times. "I'm finding it very difficult."

The 36-year-old has now opted out of the International Championship because of illness. "I'm very sorry that I had to officially withdraw from the International Championship, due to ongoing health problems," he said.

"I would have loved to be fit to compete in Chengdu but I have been advised by my doctor not to travel. I want to sincerely apologise to World Snooker, the sponsors and the fans for the disappointment caused. I look forward to seeing you all soon."

O'Sullivan was due to face either Michael White or Lu Haotian on Monday, and whoever emerges as winner in the match will now receive a bye into the last 16.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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