Anderson vows to return “better than ever” after Premier League withdrawal

Anderson aims to return to full fitness (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Gary Anderson pulled out of the 2019 Premier League but has quashed any fears he is about to quit the sport by insisting he will be back “better than ever”.

The Flying Scotsman will miss his first Unibet Premier League season after eight consecutive campaigns and two memorable triumphs in 2011 and 2015.

Anderson struggled with back issues throughout last year’s Premier League and the problem worsened against during the World Championship when he revealed his back was “shot to bits”.

But now he believes he is on the road to recovery and is eyeing his televised return in March's UK Open in Minehead - where he is the defending champion.

"I'm gutted, not just for myself but for my fans and sponsors," said Anderson.

"I hate letting people down but I'm in no fit state to play at top level right now. Even a short practice is painful so I don’t think I'm up to the Premier League, I'd hate to play and embarrass myself by being rubbish. 

"The chronic pain I've been in for months has really brought me down. I was getting some treatment but after the Worlds I knew I had to do something more.  

"This new guy and I are working hard together to get me fit and ready for the rest of the year. I'm having to change my whole lifestyle - even how I get in and out of the car, lift the kids and move in general. 

"I may laugh that I’m old but I have a long life in front of me, hopefully now pain free."

Anderson has been replaced in the Premier League line-up by nine new names branded 'contenders' - who will each contest an exhibition match at a venue local to them.

The Scot hopes that his current treatment agenda will enable him to play in the Players Championship events this month, however, his main focus at the moment is getting to defend his UK Open title in early March.

He added: "I'm in the lucky position that even if I do have to miss some of the Players Champs early on my ranking won't be affected. 

"Everyone has been great supporting me, we're all gutted about me not playing, but for my long term physical and mental health it's the best thing to do.

"My partner Rachel is changing my diet to see if that helps me and we're walking a lot with the kids and dogs. 

"My manager Tommy keeps in constant touch with the physio to make sure I’m doing all the right things and see if we can do anything else or see anyone else. 

"The PDC have also been very supportive, they actually found me the physio. They have looked at various options for getting me to venues, but last week's treatment has been particularly gruelling.

"I feel that by staying in the PL and ‘having a go’ I'd be depriving someone fully fit of a place, and depriving the fans of seeing Gary Anderson play how he should.

"However the good news is that I am noticing a difference in pain and movement so I'll be back soon, better than ever."


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Anderson vows to return “better than ever” after Premier League withdrawal

Gary Anderson pulled out of the 2019 Premier League but has quashed any fears he is about to quit the sport by insisting he will be back “better than ever”.

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