Gary Anderson has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s BetVictor Masters due to a back injury, and he will be replaced by former Lakeside champion Stephen Bunting.
Two-time World Champion Anderson has been undergoing extensive treatment on his back since his semi-final exit at last month’s World Championship.
Nevertheless, the world number four has now withdrawn from the opening TV tournament of the year in Milton Keynes on medical advice.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,” Anderson told the PDC.
“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.”
Anderson will be replaced in the draw by Bunting, who under PDC rules is invited into the tournament as a direct replacement as the next highest ranked player.
As a result, ‘The Bullet’ now takes on Darren Webster in the first-round on Friday night, as world number one Michael van Gerwen bids to win a fifth successive Masters crown.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC