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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 April, 2004, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Small pulls out
By Julian Shea
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Alan McManus
McManus made slow work of the match
Chris Small has withdrawn from the first round of the World Championship due to ill health.

He trailed fellow Scot Alan McManus 7-1 after the opening session and clearly looked unhappy, conceding the seventh frame with just one ball potted.

Small has suffered from a painful spine condition for several years but it was his eyes that were causing the problem.

McManus had made breaks of 83 and 51 on his way to his lead and will not now be in action again until next weekend.

McManus said he was as surprised as anyone else after Small pulled out.

I was expecting a really tough match
Alan McManus
"It left me dumbstruck. There's not much I can say or do. I'll go home and forget about this match," he said.

"Conceding that frame wasn't something you expect from 99% of players and it left me wondering what was going on.

"I was expecting a really tough match. Now I'll go home and wonder why I'm not playing on Sunday morning."

Tournament organisers World Snooker released a statement on behalf of Small.

"The number of steroid injections he has needed to allow him to play have had an adverse effect on his health.

"Since a recent injection into the base of his skull, he has problems focusing.

"On Thursday, whilst having another injection into his spine, he was warned of a build-up of fluid behind his eyes, and advised to see a specialist."


Frame scores:
A McManus (Sco) 7-1 C Small (Sco)
75-62 87-36 (83) 30-66 (60) 62-58 69-41 63-47 (51)
4-1 Small conceded 70-19




WORLD SNOOKER 2004

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