World snooker champion Mark Selby has revealed how he nearly lost a toe in a freak accident at home.
The 34-year-old was in his snooker room at his Leicester home when he dropped a large glass ornament on his foot.
X-Rays at hospital revealed a broken toe and meant he missed the start of the snooker season.
He had to hobble about with a special protective boot for three weeks, but is targeting a return to action later this month.
“I was in my snooker room when I dropped a big piece of glass on my foot,” said Selby.
“I knew I’d done something bad so I went to hospital, they did an X-Ray and said I’d broken my big toe.
“The doctor actually said I was lucky not to lose the toe.
“I had to wear a special protective boot for three weeks and they said it would take four to six weeks to heal.
“So I was hobbling around at home for a while. I had to pull out of the Riga Masters but I’m lucky it didn’t happen at a busier time of the season or just before the World Championship.
“I could still have played by limping around the table but it would have been difficult.”
Selby enjoyed the best season of his career in 2016/17, winning five ranking titles including the UK Championship (at York’s Barbican) and World Championship (the Crucible in Sheffield).
The world No 1 will return to Yorkshire in October looking to make it a hat-trick of major titles in the White Rose county, when the English Open arrives in Barnsley.
The first of this season’s Home Nations - it has been switched to Barnsley from Manchester - the tournament runs from October 16-22 at the Barnsley Metrodome.
The world ranking event will feature 128 players battling for a top prize of £70,000. And any player winning all four Home Nations events – with the other three to take place in Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff – will land a £1m bonus.
“I definitely plan to play in the English Open,” said Selby.
“I didn’t get far with my attempt to win the £1m last season, I lost in the second round of the first event. So hopefully I can go further this time.”
Selby’s victory over John Higgins at the Crucible in May in the World Championship final capped an amazing season, which saw him stretch his huge lead at the top of the rankings.
He admits it will be tough to replicate that level of success this campaign.
He said: “It will be very difficult to replicate that. To win five events in one season was more than I expected.
“But there’s no danger of me taking my foot off the gas – that will only happen when I stop enjoying it.
“I love competing and I will be practising as hard as ever this season.”
Tickets for the English Open are on sale now, costing from £10 for day tickets, from www.worldsnooker.com/tickets