After playing through the pain barrier for nearly three months, Paul Nicholson is close to full fitness and planning to make a big splash in the second half of the darting year.
The Unicorn star has been battling against a debilitating shoulder problem since April....it left him unable to throw a dart and in severe pain.
But now he is back at 90% and hunting the big darts prizes.
“I am aiming to be 100 per cent by the World Matchplay,” he said. “It is all about working hard in the gym and building up the strength in my shoulder.”
Nicholson was forced to withdraw from a Players Championship tournament in Birmingham earlier this month.....it is a recurring problem which results in a trapped nerve in his right shoulder.
“It happened first in 2001,” he explained. “And then again in 2006 when I was in Australia. At that stage I stopped playing for a year because of it, but I am determined that I won’t let it beat me!”
“I felt much better in Germany last weekend and feel that my confidence is returning, so I am expecting a good weekend for the Players Championship double-header in Crawley.”
It has been a tough time for ‘The Asset’
He dropped down from 9th in the World to 23rd, missed out on the Premier League and suffered a crisis in confidence, but the signs for the future remain very positive.....and Nicholson has also revealed that he is toning down his off stage ‘antics’.
“For the first time in over four years since I came to the PDC circuit, I felt that I couldn’t play at the top standard and that scared me. So it has been a case of back to basics and the hunger is returning, but I feel that I have to fully focus on my darts.”
“All the talk of getting in the Premier League was a distraction and I am not going to let that happen again.”
Nicholson continued: “The priority is darts not the antics. Don’t get me wrong, I am still going to be just as aggressive on stage, but I will be adopting a lower profile for the rest of the year. Hopefully my darts will do the talking in the big tournaments and as far as the Premier League is concerned, what will be, will be.”
He has climbed back up to 14 in those world rankings and his aim is to reclaim a place in the top ten by the end of the year.
Don’t bet against him achieving his goal by the end of the World Championship!
By STUART PYKE
Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC