Phil Taylor has withdrawn from the US Darts Masters next week on medical advice after contracting sickness in Shanghai.
The 16-time world champion battled through to the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Darts Masters this week, where he was narrowly beaten 8-7 by eventual champion Michael van Gerwen, despite beginning to feel unwell before the start of the tournament.
After being examined by a doctor, and with his final appearance in the BetVictor World Matchplay, an event he has won 15 times, just a fortnight away, the 56-year-old made the decision to return home rather than fly on to Las Vegas.
“I’m sorry to all my fans in America that I won’t be there next week,” Taylor said. “I was really looking forward to playing in Las Vegas where I have had so many happy memories from the (Las Vegas) Desert Classic.
“I began to feel unwell on Wednesday morning and to be honest it didn’t get any better over the next couple of days and I was thinking about whether I could even play here in China. But I got through it and did my best against Michael on Friday.
“I’d seen a doctor in the afternoon and he said it wasn’t a good idea for me to get on a plane for such a long time but my last Blackpool is so important to me so I have reluctantly decided to travel home.
“I really want to be at my best for the Matchplay which has always been my favourite tournament and I couldn’t take any risks with more travelling and spending a week in the heat.”
Taylor’s place in the inaugural US Darts Masters next week has been taken by seven-time major winner James Wade.