Paul Nicholson will return this evening as part of the MODUS Super Series with 'The Asset' going through multiple surgeries during his time away from the oche and he admits this week is all about finding form again and seeing where his game is competitively with Q-School potentially in mind.
"I’m under no illusions on how it’s going to be difficult for me and I’m not the player I was. I don’t have enough time to practice like other players because I have a very tough and busy media schedule but I have been fitting in enough to get a feel for the equipment I’m using," said Nicholson to Sporting Life.
"I’ll give it everything I’ve got but the mission for Thursday and Friday is to see where I stand with my game – and after that I’ll know what I need to do in the next few months to prepare for Q School.
"I’m sure there will be lots of darts fans out there who will be glad to see me back – but if you think I’m going to be the player who used to win titles, then think again. I’m not that sharp. I want to find out who I am as a player in 2022 after all my injuries and grip issues."
But as a top pundit and commentator, Nicholson said that it is more about seeing if he can give it one more shot and that even if he got a Tour Card, he would have to make the decision whether to give his media commitments up.
"Personally, I think if I was to win a tour card and give up my seat on commentary duties, I would struggle to get it back in the future.
"I will go to Q School but won’t put myself under any pressure to get back on tour. Not even 0.1% of pressure. It’s a fact-finding mission to see if I can still do it.
"Just taking part, I’ll then have the freedom to take part in Challenge Tour events as well as Modus tournaments but if by some miracle I do win a tour card then I’ll make a decision as to whether I’d commit to it. Do I want to be a professional at the top level anymore? Not really, but I do want to find out whether my body and mind can give me the option."
But would 'The Asset' of old return with the boisterous attitude and the sunglasses? Maybe in exhibitions but Nicholson admits that moniker is likely put to bed.
There’s a small part of me that thinks The Asset has gone into retirement, and I just want to see what Paul Nicholson is made of. The last thing I want to do is put myself through the stresses of the Darts Regulation Authority again.
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