Malaysia badminton national coach Hendrawan assured that Lee Chong Wei's training schedule will be reworked to help the shuttler prolong his career. With the world number one setting his sights on Tokyo Olympics in 2020, keeping him injury-free is the way forward.
Lee, who won his third Olympic silver at the Rio Games in 2016 after going down to China's Chen Long in the Men's singles final, has struggled with injury issues in the later half of the season.
A hamstring injury during his quarter-final defeat to unseeded French shuttler Brice Leverdez at French Open in October kept him out of Denmark, China and Hong Kong Superseries tournaments before he came back for the year-ending BWF Finals in Dubai.
However, Lee was not at his best at the Superseries Finals as the four-time champion crashed out of the competition in the group stages. Defeats to Son Wan Ho and eventual champion Viktor Axelsen shortened the world number one's stay in Dubai.
The Malaysian national coach conceded that it is difficult to coach Lee at this stage of the shuttler's career. Notably, Lee will not defend his title at the Malaysia Masters in January but will be back in action at the All England Open in March.
"It is not easy to be Chong Wei's coach at this stage of his life. There is risk of injury if I push him hard in training and his form may drop if I don't. We will work it out," Hendrawan said, as quoted by The Star Online.
"We have to accept Chong Wei's loss [at BWF Superseries Finals 2016]. He was not at his best. His condition was not like before the Rio Olympics and it was easier for the younger players to beat him.
"We can always learn from this defeat. We have to find ways to balance between tough training, recovery and injury prevention."
Hendrawan revealed that the break will allow Lee to get fresh for the major tournaments in 2017, which includes the Glasgow BWF World Championships in August. Notably, the Malaysian finished as runner-up in the 2015 event.
"He [Lee] will play at the All-England in March. That will give him enough time to rest and recuperate. The World Championships is his main target next year," the 44-year-old tactician added.