Peter Wright has declared himself fit to face Diogo Portela in the first-round of the William Hill World Championship on Thursday night, despite his recent diagnosis with gallstones.
The UK Open champion had been a doubt for the World Championship after he was rushed to hospital with suspected gallstones on November 30th. Scans confirmed he has three gallstones and ‘Snakebite’ has since lost almost two stone in weight, but he has declared himself fit to compete at the Alexandra Palace.
After being rushed into hospital, Wright cancelled a series of planned exhibitions in December and has since been recuperating at home, but he insists he has sufficiently recovered to take on Brazilian debutant Portela on Thursday night.
Wright said: “I’ll be playing on Thursday and I can’t wait to get back to Ally Pally. I’m feeling totally fine in many ways, and I’m rested. I’m still waiting to hear back from the doctors following my scan and it might be that I need some further treatment in the next few weeks, but I’ve done everything I can to recover so far.
“I’ve been eating really healthily, getting lots of rest, taking the medication and doing all the right things, and it’s all looking good. I’ve lost almost two stones in weight and I’m feeling okay for that, and I’ll keep doing the right things during the tournament until I hear what the doctors have planned.”
The world number two has enjoyed a stellar 2017, winning eleven titles, including his maiden TV major at March’s UK Open. He also claimed his maiden World Series title in October’s German Darts Masters, but he admits that he genuinely feared that he would be forced to pull out of this year’s World Championship.
“There was a chance I would have pulled out of the World Championship. The pain was really bad when I went into hospital, and if I’d had to have had an operation then I would have pulled out because my health’s more important. But it’s great that I can play against Diogo on Thursday and I want to do my best to win this title now,” Snakebite added.
Wright’s match against Portela is the final tie of this year’s first-round, and the Scot admits that he has been fortunate that the schedule has allowed him just over three weeks of recovery time.
The world number two concluded: “Fortunately the schedule had come out and I was on the last day of the first round, so I’ve had a week longer than I might have had to recover. I had a couple of weeks of doing nothing, but I’m mentally fresh, which is the most important thing.
“My mental state is great. You can over-practice and then analyse too much, and that can put too much pressure on you, which I’ve done before. “I’ve got my head correct, the right set-up of my darts and my target is to have the highest average of the first round!”
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC