Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson admits the day he can no longer “have a laugh” at the darts will be the day he calls time on his career.
The world number three has endured a roller-coaster 18 months on and off the oche, picking up multiple major titles while also being plagued by injury.
Anderson, who won the UK Open, World Matchplay and Champions League in 2018, has featured in just three PDC events so far this season after withdrawing from the Premier League due to a twisted spine.
The Scot had been undergoing specialist treatment since his Semi-Final defeat to Michael van Gerwen at the World Championship and returned to competitive action in March’s UK Open – where he suffered an early exit at the hands of Steve Beaton.
“To be honest, I’ve not done much this year at all,” Anderson told Live Darts.
“I’ve done a few exhibitions, Minehead [UK Open] and a ProTour, that’s been about it, so I think we’ve got a lot of work to do.
“I was over the moon with the way I played at the UK Open but I was sore the next day.
“I hadn’t thrown a lot of darts, I turned up to Minehead, got beaten, but in my head – I played well.
“The ProTour was a disaster. I scored well over the weekend that I played but the finishing was atrocious.
“There was nothing there and I started thinking ‘am I good enough now?’ but I think it’s just a lack of practice and lack of play.”
Anderson, who joined the PDC a decade ago, is among the last of the ‘old guard’ still competing at the top level and admits he has not enjoyed the strains of the circuit in recent times while contending with chronic pain.
“The last 12 months, I’ve not been enjoying it,” added the Scot.
“I’ve been in a lot of pain and I’ve been getting narky. I like a good laugh and a carry on but it’s not been there.
“I’ve been sitting in pain and people cheese me off, it’s as simple as that.
“That’s not me, I like to have a good laugh at the darts but it wasn’t there.
“If I still can have a laugh with the lads, I’ll be alright, but when that goes, I think it’s time to knock it on the head.”
Anderson has recently been suffering with tennis elbow which has further hampered his recovery efforts, but the 48-year-old says he is prepared to have injections in order to fast-track his return to competitive action.
He added: “I just want to get back playing, but until I get these elbows sorted out, it’s going to be a struggle.
“Hopefully over the next month or so we can get it sorted out and get back onto it.
“I might have to go down the hard route and get the injections, which I don’t want to do.
“I like to try and get rid of things myself, but if I’ve got to get them done, I’ve got to get them done.”
Anderson, who withdrew from last weekend’s Players Championship double-header in Barnsley, is among the list of entries for this weekend’s ProTour events at the same venue, but it is unclear as to whether he will feature.