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Marco Fu

Marco Fu admits fears for his future in snooker after laser surgery to fix vision in left eye

The 40-year-old says even his doctor does not know how long his recovery will take so it’s ‘too early’ to talk about retirement

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 February, 2018, 6:50pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 February, 2018, 10:24am

Snooker star Marco Fu Ka-chun may have played the last match of his career due to eye problems but the world number nine firmly stressed he had no immediate plan to prematurely hang up his cue.

The 40-year-old gave an update about his health on Friday after revealing on social media he had suffered retinal degeneration and myodesopsia in his left eye, prompting him to undergo laser surgery in Hong Kong in late December.

“I am taking a break at the moment and won’t take part in any tournament until I am fully recovered from my eye problems,” said Fu, who attracted a large group of media at a small coffee shop in Prince Edward.

“I don’t know how long it [the recovery process] will take, even the doctor cannot tell. Until I can resume training, I can only find out if I can regain my best level.

“If I cannot stay competitive with the world’s top players I would call it a day, but at the moment it’s too early to talk about that.

“My priority is to get sufficient rest as I still feel headaches occasionally, which means I am still not yet recovered.”

Fu said he first discovered the problems when playing in England in September after the season began.

“One day when I looked up to the sky, I found almost 200 small black spots in my left eye,” he said.

“I was shocked but did not take it seriously as I have suffered the same problem for a long time, although it was never that serious.

“I hoped the problem might go away as time went by, but unfortunately it didn’t.”

After he came back to Hong Kong, Fu went to see a doctor and was referred by the Sports Institute to a specialist who discovered the two problems in the main eye Fu used when playing snooker and suggested surgery.

“I was a bit scared when I first heard the problem, fearing it might affect my career as retinal degeneration is something new to me,” said Fu. “But now I have accepted the problem and take it positively.”

“I have played snooker for two decades and never come across any major crisis,” said Fu. “This is the first time so it also gives my body a break, physically and mentally, as I have been playing for so long.”

The surgery only healed Fu’s retina problem which may develop into retinal detachment if it is not taken care of, and there are still black spots in his left eye when he stares at strong light.

The two problems, Fu said, had affected his performance as he failed to reach a semi-final of any ranking tournament this season.

‘Don’t worry about me’ – Hong Kong’s Marco Fu assures fans after undergoing eye surgery that will keep him out ‘for some time’

The previous year, Fu won the 2016 Scottish Open for his third ranking title while reaching the World Championship semi-finals for the second time.

He last played in January when he was thrashed 6-0 in the last 16 by five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Masters at Alexandra Palace in London.

“I really regret that I took part in the tournament as it was done after my surgery and I had not trained for three weeks,” said Fu. “There was really little chance that I could win.”