KUALA LUMPUR: The All-England next week is so important for world No 1 Lee Chong Wei, who is itching for competitive action.
The 35-year-old shuttler, who just recovered from a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL), has not competed in any tournaments since the World Super Series Finals last December.
"Of course I am not at my best, but this All-England is very important to me.
"As you all know, I don't play in as many tournaments as I used to, and so it is vital for me to get that tournament feeling.
"I have not played competitive badminton since the World Super Series Finals, and even then I was not fully fit, especially after picking an injury at the Denmark Open (October)," said Chong Wei, who leaves for Birmingham tomorrow.
On his biggest rival Lin Dan, who suffered a shock third round defeat at the German Open on Thursday, Chong Wei added: "Just like me, Lin Dan has not played in a long time.
"I am sure that he is also finding that high level feeling on court. As for me I don't want to think much about how others are doing.
"I have got a mission and I want to focus on myself. To give my best to achieve my targets this year."
Chong Wei, a three-time champion at the All England (2010, 2011 and 2014) will open his campaign on Wednesday against a qualifier.
Also making the trip to England are men's doubles world No 1 Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, women's doubles Vivian Hoo Kah Mun-Woon Khe Wei, mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing.