REIGNING champions Gary Anderson will defend his title in the UK Open at Butlin's Minehead this weekend.

Anderson, from Burnham-on-Sea, has been out of action in 2019 suffering from a back injury, missing the Premier League and World Championships.

However, he has decided to give it a go despite being unable to put in sustained practice sessions.

Anderson told “To be honest, I’ve missed the competition.

“I have no idea how I will go this weekend because I haven’t thrown much at all.

"It has all been about getting the best possible treatment to give me the best possible chance.”

Anderson is second favourite for the tournament at 8-1, but World No 1 Michael van Gerwen is hot favourite at 10-11.

He will enter the competition in Round 4, scheduled for tonight.

Also competing will be Wellington star Ryan Searle, who will play either Matt Edgar or Gary Eastwood in a Round 3 clash on Stage 6 this afternoon.

Last year, the tournament at Minehead was played behind closed doors when heavy snow forced organisers to shut the doors to spectators; Anderson took the title by beating Corey Cadby 11-7 in the final.

Coverage takes place through the weekend on ITV4.