Former Lakeside finalist Dean Winstanley has vowed to come “back with a vengeance” in 2019 after a lengthy lay-off through injury.
Winstanley, 37, has been plagued by a long-term shoulder injury which ultimately ended his four-year spell as a PDC Tour Card holder in 2016.
The Yorkshireman, who is still waiting for an operation, did not throw a competitive dart in 2017 but returned to the Challenge Tour earlier this year after competing at Qualifying School.
Winstanley, who reached the Semi-Finals of the 2012 Grand Slam and famously landed a nine-dart finish at the 2013 World Championship, has set his sights on a full comeback next season.
“I’ve been playing again for about three months and I’m actually starting to enjoy it a little more now,” Winstanley told Live Darts.
“My shoulder’s getting better so anything could happen.
“They still won’t operate, everyone seems to think I got operated on but they’ve been absolute rubbish.
“I went to a proper Olympic sports physio and they’ve been working with me and it’s getting better.”
Winstanley has travelled to various BDO tournaments alongside his wife Lorraine – the current women’s world number one – and has taken the opportunity to get more competitive match play back under his belt.
He added: “The game’s still there and I’ve shown little bits of it in BDO comps.
“There were signs of brilliance and signs of Stevie Wonder but it’s not over yet.
“I’d like to say 2019 without a doubt.
“I’m just going to sit in a corner and do my own thing.
“No more fines, no more DRA, I’m coming back with a vengeance.
“I think they [the DRA] miss me! But you learn to be a bad boy and things go wrong so just be a good lad and things can go right.”