Thursday, 28 April, 2005
Ronnie O'Sullivan's mentor Ray Reardon believes his charge will be away from snooker for no more than six months.
O'Sullivan said he was planning to take a year off after his defeat to Peter Ebdon in the World Championship quarter-finals.
Reardon told BBC Radio Five Live: "I don't think he's going to be that long. I think six months will be it.
"Once this tournament is over there's a big gap to the next one, so he's doing it at the right time."
Six-time world champion Reardon added: "He'll probably come back for something like the Grand Prix at Preston (in October).
"He's a snooker player and a snooker player can leave the game temporarily and the game will drag him back."
O'Sullivan turned to Reardon before last year's World Championship and the two have developed a close relationship.
And the Welshman says the predicament of O'Sullivan's father, who is serving a life sentence for murder, has affected the world number one deeply.
"He thinks the world of his dad and he misses him and he gets very low because of it. You'd be amazed how it affects him.
"He gets these lows and highs and he's very hard on himself as he's a perfectionist.
"He's been off-colour for a while now. One session can be sheer birlliance and suddenly he gets on a low and and eats himself up.
"That's probably why he's speaking about having a bit of a sabbatical."
Meanwhile, Ebdon says he hopes O'Sullivan does not take a break.
"I hope he doesn't because it would be a shame for the game," Ebdon told BBC Radio Five Live.
"I love playing Ronnie. He's inspirational. I don't enjoy watching snooker but I'd go anywhere to watch Ronnie O'Sullivan. He's a genius.
"I don't think we can really put ourselves in Ronnie's shoes because he must have to work tremendously hard to maintain his fitness and also his level of form," said the world number eight.
Former world champion Dennis Taylor said he did not believe O'Sullivan would carry through his plan for a break.
"I'll be very surprised if Ronnie takes a year out," the 1985 champion told BBC Radio Five Live.
"He loves the game of snooker, he lives for playing snooker and after a couple of months when he's had a good think about everything, he'll be a little bit refreshed."