Ronnie O’Sullivan has pulled out of the 2023 Championship League, with Lyu Haotian taking his place in Leicester.
The Rocket was due to headline Group Seven at the Morningside Arena, alongside Stephen Maguire, Tom Ford, Graeme Dott, Zhou Yuelong, Matt Selt and Xiao Guodong.
But the seven-time World champion, who endured cue tip difficulties during the Welsh Open earlier this month, has opted not to participate this week; his place subsequently filled by world number 38 Lyu.
O’Sullivan will next be in action at the Six Red World Championship in March, before defending his Crucible title the following month.
Despite winning the invitational Hong Kong Masters and Champion of Champions, the world number one has endured a generally modest season in ranking events.
Indeed, runs to the UK Championship and Welsh Open quarter-finals represent his best performances, while he failed to qualify for last week’s Players Championship and is also highly likely to be absent from the lucrative Tour Championship.
18+ | T&Cs Apply | Geo Restrictions may apply | Be Gamble Aware
@ronnieo147 cue back to Ronnie safe and sound. We had to cut a little bit off the top to get back to the ferrule size we wanted and add that length back onto the butt of the cue. First reports from Ronnie is it feels great. Before and after pictures. #Snooker #Cues pic.twitter.com/lTs4I2ICpE
— John Parris (@ParrisCues) February 24, 2023