Kento Momota is eyeing a first Olympic gold medal at his home Games in Tokyo ©Getty Images

Men's badminton singles world number one, Japan's Kento Momota, is set for a return from injury as he continues his preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Momota, who was in a car crash in Malaysia in January this year, suffered injuries that put his chances of competing at his home Games in doubt before it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese star was travelling to Kuala Lumpur International Airport on January 13 when the van he was in collided with a truck.

N Bavan, named as the van's driver, died at the scene, while three other passengers also survived.

He suffered multiple laceration wounds to his face, a fractured nose and a broken eye socket after the smash which came a day after he had won the Malaysia Masters.

He is now set to compete at the All-Japan National Championships in Tokyo later this month before playing in the Thailand Open in January.

"I'm nervous, but I'm really looking forward to it," said Momota, according to AFP.

"I'm really looking forward to playing against the best international players after such a long time."

Surgery on his eye socket in February led the player to have impaired vision, but he later declared himself "fully recovered" and is now eyeing a first Olympic gold.

Kento Momota suffered serious injuries following a car crash in Malaysia at the start of 2020 ©Getty Images
Kento Momota suffered serious injuries following a car crash in Malaysia at the start of 2020 ©Getty Images

In 2019, the Japanese star won a record-breaking 11 titles, including defending his men's singles world title.

He now aims to win his third straight national crown before travelling to Bangkok. 

"I haven't played matches recently, so it's difficult to know what's working and what I need to work on," he added.

"But thanks to my sponsors, I've been able to practise each day without stress."

Three postponed competitions will be played back-to-back in Thailand in January.

The only tournament to go ahead since March is the Denmark Open in October, which Momota withdrew from due to fears over COVID-19.

"There has been a lot of gloomy news with the coronavirus recently, so I'm really happy that these tournaments are taking place," added Momota.

"Sport has the power to make people feel better, so I want to do my best to show my appreciation and help give people a positive outlook."

Tokyo 2020 is set to be his debut after he missed Rio 2016 after being banned for illegal gambling.