Graeme Dott, the 2006 888.com world champion, has been diagnosed with depression and is reported to be considering withdrawing from this year’s Crucible event.
He has failed to win any of his last 15 matches in a run stretching back to last August’s Shanghai Masters.
In December 2006, Alex Lambie, Dott’s father-in-law and long time manager, died of cancer.
Dott’s wife Elaine had a cancer scare in January 2007 before being given the all clear.
This season, he was involved in a time consuming fight with World Snooker when they tried to discipline him for comments he made about Ian McCulloch.
It was clear all was not well at the Welsh Open in February when he broke off in one frame of his match with Michael Judge in such a negative mood that, trying not to disturb too many reds, he missed the pack altogether.
Last month at the China Open in Beijing he was close to tears when a journalist asked whether Lambie's death had affected his form.
“I desperately want to play but I’ve not been in the right frame of mind for some time as you can see from my results. I will only go to Sheffield if I feel I can do myself justice,” Dott told the Scottish Sun.
The 30 year-old is due to play Joe Perry on Tuesday, April 22 and Wednesday, April 23.
If he pulled out it would be the first time any player had failed to turn up for a Crucible match.
My gut feeling is that he will play, but it depends on how serious the diagnosis is.
Contrary to what some people believe, you can’t just tell depressed people to “cheer up.”
Graeme should do what is in his own best interests in this case. His health is more important than a snooker match.