HIGGINS MAY BE OUT UNTIL FEBRUARY
This blog can reveal that John Higgins may not return to the circuit until next February despite his suspension ending in November.
It was widely assumed Higgins would be back for the UK Championship in December following the result of the tribunal convened as a result of a newspaper sting in which he was alleged to have agreed to lose frames for money.
The match fixing and bribery charges against Higgins were withdrawn and he was found guilty of failing to report an approach to match fix and bringing the game into disrepute.
He received a six month suspension, back dated to May since when he's been unable to play professionally, and was fined £75,000.
But Higgins has missed the closing date for entries for all tournaments until the Welsh Open in February.
The entry deadlines passed in July and the WPBSA will have to decide whether or not to grant him an exception.
He will be still be suspended when the entry dates close for the remaining Players Tour Championship events.
Higgins has already lost his no.1 spot in the world rankings and would be left with just the Welsh Open, China Open and World Championship to play in this season.
The suspension will have cost him the chance to play in four ranking tournaments, the Masters, the Premier League, 12 PTCs and the PTC grand finals, a total of 19 tournaments.
Some will argue that as his suspension ends in November Higgins should be allowed to play from that point.
Others will say he has already been treated leniently for what could have been a career ending offence.
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