Michael van Gerwen has withdrawn from the Coral UK Open due to his back injury.
The reigning UK Open champion had been forced to miss the Betway Premier League’s visit to Exeter on Thursday after failing to recover from the problem.
Following further treatment in the Netherlands, Van Gerwen has been ruled out of the weekend’s UK Open, meaning that he misses out on the chance to challenge for a third consecutive triumph in the event at the Butlins Minehead Resort.
As a result of the withdrawal under Rule 3.7, no replacement will be made in the field for the Coral UK Open, and the third round draw on Friday will feature 31 ties, with one player receiving a Bye through to the fourth round.
Van Gerwen said: “I’m very disappointed not to be able to defend my title in a tournament I have won for the last two years and always enjoy.
“I have to follow the advice of medical professionals, who have recommended that I don’t travel to play and instead rest.”