A DOWNBEAT Ronnie O’Sullivan says he will withdraw from the Coral UK Championship if the pain from his ankle injury has not healed by the time of his second round match on Sunday.

O’Sullivan, four times the UK champion, beat Daniel Wells 6-2 at the Barbican Centre in York on Thursday but was clearly in pain having broken his left ankle while running earlier in the week.

And a visibly frustrated O’Sullivan, who romped to victory at the Champion of Champions in Coventry earlier this month, was in a foul - and foul-mouthed - mood afterwards as he saw his chances of more silverware compromised by his hobby.

“The injury is disappointing,” O’Sullivan said. “It wasn’t comfortable for me out there and to be honest I didn’t enjoy any of that. It was painful for me to play out there. It’s broken so I’m f*cked basically.

“I just wanted to see what happened. I’m all over the gaff to be honest. I thought I’d give it a go but if it doesn’t improve I’m not sure I’ll play my next match. I can’t get on the shot properly, I’m hobbling around, it’s swelling up, it’s painful. I took all the painkillers I could but if it isn’t better by Sunday I probably won’t play.

“I’m gutted. I’m enjoying my snooker more than ever and to do that through running, I’m really angry with myself. I’m really f*cking angry. I don’t usually use that language but I’m so annoyed with myself. I think I’ll probably just stop running now until the end of my snooker career because you can’t do this. It’s the third time I’ve broke my foot."

O’Sullivan slipped and fell over running in a forest with a friend, after looking at his watch to check his time.

“I’m just frustrated with myself,” he added. “I’m a snooker player, not a f*cking runner. I just shouldn’t do it, it’s just really frustrating.”

O’Sullivan is due to play the winner of the match between Peter Lines and Joe Swail on Sunday night.


Photographs by Monique Limbos.