Wayne Mardle insists two-time Premier League champion Gary Anderson should seriously consider quitting the tournament for the sake of his own health.
On the opening night in Dublin, Michael Smith reeled off six straight legs from 5-1 down to claim a 7-5 win over Anderson.
Smith punished 10 missed doubles from the 47-year-old in one leg alone before two tops checkouts moved him 6-5 up, and double 10 completed a remarkable fightback.
The Flying Scotsman has been in pain since the World Championship when he exited at the quarter-final stage to Phil Taylor and ‘Hawaii 501’ believes the gruelling nature of the Premier League, which has another 15 weeks to run, could see the end of him as a player if he continues to play.
“Things with any sport or life in general, if you’re under pressure then a little bit of pain becomes a lot of pain,” Mardle told Sky Sports.
“He wasn’t throwing right last Thursday, he really wasn’t. The more pressure Smith applied the worse he got. Before and after the game he wasn’t walking right.
“If he’s going to pull out of an event, make it now or make it soon so they can make arrangements for a replacement.
“I don’t know how bad it is but it’s definitely been going on for a while. The back is important in life, forget about your living. I feel for him because he can’t play how he wants to play, but I do think he should get it sorted sooner rather than later.”
Night Two – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
|Michael Smith||v||Daryl Gurney|
|Rob Cross||v||Simon Whitlock|
|Michael van Gerwen||v||Peter Wright|
|Gerwyn Price||v||Gary Anderson|
|Raymond van Barneveld||v||Mensur Suljovic|
The 2018 Premier League is heading to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff this Thursday night with coverage underway from 7pm on Sky Sports Main Event & Action. 15 weeks of tungsten action will continue through to the season’s conclusion with the Play-Offs on May 17 at The O2 in London.
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