Injury blow for O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from next week's Australian Goldfields Open after suffering neck and back problems on the first leg of his journey Down Under.

Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from next week's Australian Goldfields Open after suffering neck and back problems on the first leg of his journey Down Under.

The three-time world champion, who has slipped to ninth in the world rankings, was due to play Dominic Dale in the last 32 in Bendigo, but Dale will now play Australian Steve Mifsud instead.

A statement from World Snooker read: "Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from snooker's Australian Goldfields Open for medical reasons.

"He completed the first part of the journey Down Under, to Bangkok, but having suffered from neck and back problems on the plane he has decided to return to the UK for medical treatment rather than taking the flight to Melbourne."

The tournament starts on Monday and runs until Sunday July 24.

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