World number one Michael van Gerwen will miss the fifth night of Premier League action at Exeter’s Westpoint Arena on Thursday evening with a back injury and is a major doubt for this weekend’s Coral UK Open Finals.
The reigning Premier League champion was scheduled to meet James Wade in a top of the table clash in Exeter, but ‘The Green Machine’ has been forced to withdraw through injury. As a result, Van Gerwen is also a major doubt for the UK Open in Minehead.
‘The Green Machine’ has won the last two stagings of the UK Open, beating Peter Wright in the final on both occasions. The Dutchman is determined to give himself every possible chance of defending his title, and will seek medical advice before making a decision on Thursday evening about whether he is able to compete in Minehead.
It would be a bitter blow for the world champion if he was ruled out through injury. Van Gerwen has won every single TV ranking major since losing to Raymond van Barneveld in the 2016 World Championship, but his run of major successes could come to a halt without him even throwing a dart.
If injury sidelines MvG in Minehead, he will become the third top ten player to miss out on the opening ranking major of 2017. Phil Taylor will miss his first ever UK Open after opting not to enter any of the six qualification events, whilst world number eight Mensur Suljovic will also be absent after pulling out of the qualifiers due to personal reasons.
Dave Chisnall will now compete twice in Exeter tomorrow night in Van Gerwen’s absence. The St Helen’s star will take part in his scheduled clash against Raymond van Barneveld to kick off proceedings, before returning to take on James Wade in the evening’s curtain-raiser.
Van Gerwen will then compete twice on Night Eight in Manchester. His rearranged clash with Wade will precede his scheduled meeting with his compatriot Van Barneveld, with Chisnall enjoying a week off. The revised fixtures and order of play for the Betway Premier League nights in Exeter and Manchester are as follows:
Betway Premier League
Night Five – Thursday March 2
Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Dave Chisnall v Raymond van Barneveld
Jelle Klaasen v Kim Huybrechts
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
Adrian Lewis v Peter Wright
James Wade v Dave Chisnall
Night Eight – Thursday March 23
The Manchester Arena
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Kim Huybrechts v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v Phil Taylor
Jelle Klaasen v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen