GERWYN Price will play through the pain barrier at tournaments across the world later this month and next after suffering a “freak accident” while on a training run.

The Markham darts ace ruptured the Achilles tendon in his left leg and is curren-tly wearing a protective boot as he waits to go under the knife.

He is planning to delay surgery until the start of August to compete on the PDC World Series in Las Vegas – where he was a semi-finalist in 2017 – and Shanghai in July.

Then, the 33-year-old is set to take his place at the BetVictor World Matchplay in Blackpool next month.

Prior to those competitions, the former Cross Keys hooker plans to play in two European Tour events at the end of June.

Price is eyeing an operation on his Achilles at the end of August, before returning to the oche for the Unibet World Grand Prix in Dublin at the end of September.

“When I suffered the

injury I couldn’t believe my luck,” said Price, the former UK Open and World Cup of Darts finalist.

“It was a freak accident, and I was hoping that it wouldn’t be too serious.

“My foot’s in a boot at present but it’s my left leg so it’s not my standing foot while I play, and I’m still planning to compete in the two European Tour events before Las Vegas.

“It’s really important to me to be in the World Series events in Vegas and Shanghai and the World Matchplay too so I’ll be doing everything to keep myself okay for them.

“I should be fine through to August – although I might have to take it easy on stage – and then I’ll have the operation and if my recovery goes to plan I should be fine by the end of September.”

Meanwhile, the PDC World Championship is set to

expand to include 96 competitors, while the 2019 champion will walk away with a cheque for £500,000.

In recent years the event has seen 72 players take part, but the introduction of a further 24 will give more international qualifiers,

including two women, the opportunity to show off their skills at Alexandra Palace.

"The William Hill World Darts Championship has become a phenomenon in worldwide sport given its incredible growth in recent years, but this announcement takes the tournament to a whole new level," said PDC chairman Barry Hearn.

"The backing of our sponsors William Hill and worldwide broadcasters led by Sky Sports has been matched by the incredible interest from fans who flock to Alexandra Palace every Christmas and watch around the globe.

"The World Championship has grown year-on-year in the decade since our move from the Circus Tavern to Alexandra Palace, which is the perfect home for such a prestigious event.

"Moving to 96 players will not only reward more players from our ProTour, with 32 qualifiers joining the world's top 32 players in securing places in the World Championship, but also gives us the opportunity to expand the international qualifiers."