Jelle Klaasen has admitted that his Premier League survival hopes are being blighted by an ongoing tendonitis problem in his wrist, as he prepares to make his Rotterdam debut tomorrow night.
‘The Cobra’ currently sits bottom of the Premier League table via legs difference, having secured just three points from his opening six matches. The Dutchman faces a crunch clash against eight-time major winner James Wade in the opening match of tomorrow’s session and defeat could spell the end of his survival hopes.
Klaasen will be making his debut in Rotterdam, having returned to the Premier League in 2017 after an eight-year hiatus. Nevertheless, the former Lakeside world champion revealed that his campaign is threatening to be derailed by a serious wrist problem.
The 32-year-old claimed: “It’s all about how my wrist will feel during the game. I had two more anti-inflammatory injections in my wrist this week, and if it’s not better in the next two months I need surgery.”
Klaasen’s ability to close out matches was questioned after he surrendered a handsome 4-1 advantage against Raymond van Barneveld in Glasgow last week. Van Barneveld took out three ton-plus checkouts as he won six of the remaining seven legs to triumph, but ‘The Cobra’ maintained that the criticism was unfair.
“It’s all about how long I can play without the pain; normally about five or six legs into the game I feel it hurting even more and then my level drops. I‘ve heard all the comments that I can’t close out games, but it’s not about that it’s just that my wrist is getting tired. I hope I can have a good day and get to seven legs,” Klaasen added.
However, the world number nine insisted that he’s determined to enjoy the occasion in Rotterdam, as he attempts to record his second victory of the campaign. “I just want to enjoy it. The Premier League this far isn’t how I imagined it would be but I feel good and it’s nice to play in Holland.”
“It’s the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of and it’s going to be awesome. I heard from Raymond that it was his best experience ever last year and even Michael was a little bit nervous. “
Elsewhere at the Ahoy Arena, home favourites Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld will take on Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson respectively. Table-topper Peter Wright meets Dave Chisnall, whilst two-time world champion Adrian Lewis plays relegation struggler Kim Huybrechts.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night Seven – Thursday March 16
James Wade v Jelle Klaasen
Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall
Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson
Kim Huybrechts v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen