Exclusive: O'Sullivan gives key illness update ahead of showdown with Vafaei

Ronnie O’Sullivan has provided Eurosport with an update on his health after he struggled through his opening match at the World Snooker Championship with an illness to progress at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

An ill O’Sullivan avoided a minor scare to overcome a doughty Pang Junxu 10-7 and reach the second round of the tournament in testing circumstances, but now he is up and running he is feeling “better” in time for the second round.

O’Sullivan was far from his best with numerous errors during his opening clash, but he still managed to resist a late comeback from Pang to get over the line. He revealed he has been carrying a “bug” so was relieved to win.

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“I’m relieved it’s over,” said O’Sullivan in the Eurosport studio after the victory over Pang. “I’ve got a bug so I’ve been absolutely hanging all day – legs, limbs, everything has gone – just hanging in there.

“I was so desperate just to get over the line. It’s a horrible feeling. I just wanted to see if I can get through, have a few days rest but I might just hang around the Crucible and give everyone my bug!

“I was so tired that I feel relaxed. It’s mad. I just can’t wait to get to my bed. I’m struggling.”

Asked by Eurosport’s Rachel Casey how he was feeling now, The Rocket was bullish and revealed that he had been taking it extremely easy – even forgoing his customary daily runs in order to fully recover.

“Yeah, I feel better,” O’Sullivan said when asked how he was holding up after the illness he spoke about following his first-round win.

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“I had three days just staying in the house – no running, still no running – just resting up as much as I can and just trying to focus on the tournament and give myself a good chance.

“It doesn’t matter at this time because you don’t need to practise. All the work you have done through the season – sometimes you have some time off and that does you good.

“It has just been about an hour here or there on the table and you quickly get your feelings back so it does not interrupt any preparation or anything.”

In the same interview, O’Sullivan addressed Vafaei’s latest comments about him in their ongoing feud. Check out that story here.

‘Do your talking on the table’ – White reacts to Vafaei’s broadside on O’Sullivan

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