Gary Anderson has withdrawn from The Masters, with PDC world number 17 Stephen Bunting replacing him.
Two-time PDC world champion Anderson was forced to drop out after undergoing further treatment for a persistent back problem. In a statement, the Scot explained that the decision has been taken on medical advice.
“I’m really sorry to the fans that I won’t be there this weekend but it’s a long year and I want to make sure I’m out of action for as little time as possible,” he said.
“I’ve been having a lot of physio work over the last few weeks and, as everyone knows, I’ve been struggling with my back for a long time.
“This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly but I haven’t been able to sleep properly, and even just a few minutes practice causes severe pain, so my physio advised me I must rest at the moment to reduce the risk of causing any serious long-term damage.”
The Flying Scotsman’s exit means Bunting will now take place in the first stage event of the season. It is the St Helens ace’s first Masters appearance since 2016, where he was beaten 10-1 by Michael van Gerwen in the first round.
The Bullet will take on Darren Webster in Milton Keynes, with the winner facing Daryl Gurney or Dave Chisnall.
Michael van Gerwen is the reigning champion, having won The Masters on each of the past four occasions.
Tags: Gary Anderson | Masters 2019 | PDC | Stephen Bunting
Gary Anderson has withdrawn from The @BetVictor Masters due to a back injury, and will be replaced by Stephen Bunting.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 30, 2019
Author: Ed McCosh