Snooker: Limping Morgan bows out

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DARREN MORGAN limped out of the European Open in Plymouth yesterday and then admitted: "I must have been off my head to come here."

Morgan, who entered the arena on crutches after being involved in a car accident five weeks ago, lost 5-3 to Tony Knowles in the final qualifying round of the world-ranking event. The former Irish Masters champion sustained a dislocated left hip, badly twisted ligaments, bruised ribs and head injuries in a crash on the M4.

Despite medical advice not to play, Morgan decided not to withdraw from his first match of the season. "With hindsight, I shouldn't have played," he said, clearly in pain as he hobbled from one shot to the next. "I feel like I've been through a mincing machine. Technically I'm not supposed to put any weight on the injury and I should use my crutches all the time. That's why I haven't been able to practise.

"I've probably only put in three hours of practice in total over the past month or so and there's no way you can hope to get away with that at this level."

The world number 22 compiled breaks of 55, 46 and 75 but Knowles, who led 3-1 at the mid-session interval, was always in control.