ALI CARTER has been forced to call off his planned competitive snooker comeback at the Bulgarian Open following treatment for cancer.
Three-time ranking event winner Carter, 35, was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer in May.
Doctors are pleased with the results of chemotherapy, and two-time world championship runner-up Carter entered the European Tour event starting on October 3 in Sofia.
But surgery earlier in September has left the world No15 from Chelmsford with complications, acute pain in his left arm and barely able to hold a cue.
Carter said: “It is very disappointing, I find myself in a very difficult situation. I want to get back playing, but don’t want to make things worse for bigger events to come.
“But following the radio frequency ablation surgery two weeks ago I have had searing pain in my left arm, it feels like it’s in scalding hot water.
“I tried to practise this week, and it was impossible to hold the cue properly – but this should just be a delay, or postponement.
“I have spoken to Jason Ferguson [WPBSA chairman] today and hopefully I can be back for the European Tour event in Mulheim in Germany in November.
“I also have an invite for the General’s Cup in Hong Kong, and that might be a good place to get back into it.”
The delay is a new blow for Carter, desperate to return to action with his ranking having been frozen to assist his comeback.
The UK Championships in November remain Carter’s primary target, with the Hong Kong and Mulheim events potentially serving as warm-up events.
Carter, known on tour as ‘The Captain’ has suffered with terrible luck over his health.
The qualified pilot has battled with the debilitating Crohn’s disease his entire career.
And in 2013 the father-of-one was diagnosed with testicular cancer but was given the all-clear three months later.
Photograph by Monique Limbos