SNOOKER: Ali Carter is ready for the return to big-time snooker he feared would never happen after surviving the toughest battle of his life.
A snooker professional since he left school, and an elite player for a full decade, Carter has known prosperous times and bleak moments.
He was squarely beaten by Ronnie O'Sullivan in the World Championship finals of 2008 and 2012, but has captured titles of his own, at the Welsh Open, Shanghai Masters and German Masters, and a nice life off the table.
Yet in relation to what Carter has experienced over the last six months, the travails on the snooker table look almost trivial.
Diagnosed with lung cancer in May, Carter has pushed his body through punishing sessions of chemotherapy and major surgery, felt his energy drain, seen his hair fall out, and allowed his mind to wander towards the worst-case scenario.
The 35-year-old from Essex tackles Neil Robertson at the Champion of Champions tournament at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry this afternoon, his first major outing of a season that began for others in late May.
"It's going to be emotional for me walking out there," Carter said. "I've had great support from within snooker. It's nice to know that everyone's pulled together and got behind me. I've tried to paint the best picture I could and be positive. I'll be looking forward to getting out there and getting a few wins under my belt, and getting a few quid back in the bank."
Fury to bounce back
BOXING: Tyson Fury believes his long absence from the ring will serve him well when he finally gets to face Dereck Chisora at London's ExCeL Arena on November 29.
Fury has fought just four low-key rounds in the last 18 months after seeing prospective bouts against both Chisora and David Haye scrapped or postponed due to late-notice injuries to his opponents.
But, far from fearing another disappointment as he enters the final build-up to their British and European heavyweight title showdown, Fury is intent on seeking out positives.
"I have had a lot of back-to-back camps recently and it meant I came into this camp with no weight to lose," said Fury.
"I usually start off two or three stones over the limit and am killing myself to get the weight off, but for this camp I was actually five pounds under my normal fighting weight.
"This camp has been different and we will see on the night if it pays off but I'm looking forward to getting in there and getting the win that will move me towards some world title fights."