Edinburgh’s Doug Kempsell is battling injury as he prepares to launch Scotland’s medal bid at this week’s European Team Squash Championship in Warsaw.
The recently-married 23-year-old strained a calf muscle at the Ipswich Open last Friday, but expected to be fit for the Group A opener against fifth seeds Spain today.
“The Spaniards are the ones we really need to beat to finish in the top two and get through to Friday’s semi-finals,” explained Kempsell.
“I strained my calf quite badly, but I dropped out as a precaution and I’ve got lots of tape on it to get it healed up. I’ll definitely play even if I need strapping and painkillers, but hopefully it won’t come to that.”
The six-man squad of Kempsell, East of Scotland coach Kevin Moran, Alan Clyne, Greg Lobban, Rory Stewart and newcomer Chris Leiper have been named as the number four seeds and also face eighth-ranked Ireland tomorrow before meeting holders and top seeds France on Thursday.
The Scots are desperate to make it fifth time lucky this week after losing bronze medal play-offs to Germany in each of the last four years, most recently in Denmark last May.
“We’re sick of finishing fourth, but we’ve been put in a difficult group with Spain,” warned Moran.
“Hopefully it’s our turn!” said Kempsell. “We have a good team, so we’re confident we can challenge again. We also have a new head coach (Paul Bell) and everything’s back on track and going really well again after a difficult period last year. We’re moving forward, and hopefully that will be reflected in our results this week.”