Badminton world number one Lee Chong Wei is working 12 hours a day on his rehabilitation in the hope he can recover from an ankle injury in time to compete at the London Olympics next month.

Lee tore a tendon in his ankle during a Thomas Cup match last month leaving Malaysian hopes of a first Olympic gold in tatters. While fans were hopeful he could recover in time, the country's sports minister said the shuttler needed a miracle.

But rather than depending on hopes and prayers for his recovery, the Beijing Games silver medallist has been working flat out to do all he can to compete in London.

"It's been tough spending 12 hours daily, from 7am till 7pm, on my rehabilitation," Lee told Malaysian newspaper The Star on Monday.

"I'm on court at 0730 in the morning for light training before going for physiotherapy. Then I have aqua therapy to work on my upper body strength. I also do gym work later in the evening. This has been my daily routine since the injury.

"Maintaining my fitness under these conditions is tough but there's no short cut and the thought that I won't be able to fight for the gold medal drives me on," he said.

The injury to the 29-year-old has left many Malaysians despondent.

Easily the country's strongest chance of gold, Lee said he had been reluctant to make predictions when fans ask if he would compete in London.

"A lot depends on getting back to my old form and that means extra hard training," he said.

"At times I'm not able to answer as it all depends on how fast the ankle heals. I have avoided making any statements so as not to give false hopes. But the prayers and well wishes of the fans and people from all walks of life drive me on."

(Agencies)

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