/ Darts

Hankey ruled out after mini-stroke at live darts match

Updated: Monday, 19 Nov 2012 19:25 | Comments

Ted Hankey transient ischaemic attack during the match with Michael van Gerwen
Ted Hankey transient ischaemic attack during the match with Michael van Gerwen

Two-time world champion Ted Hankey will be out of action for the foreseeable future as he continues his recovery from a mini-stroke.

Hankey, nicknamed 'The Count', caused alarm last week after beating beaten 5-0 by Holland's Michael van Gerwen in the Grad Slam of Darts, with fans erroneously speculating the 44-year-old of being drunk.

The 2000 and 2009 BDO champion was visibly struggling on stage as he was posting low totals, repeatedly rubbing his eyes and asking for the score.

He was initially diagnosed with a chest infection but further tests revealed he had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

"Ted will having 6 to 8 weeks rest no darts at all start again next year if given the all clear by the doc," said Hankey's manager Dave Stevenson on Twitter.

"Here is the what was wrong with @TedHankeyDarts last week at the GSOD Ted had a Transient ischaemic attack (mini stroke) the symptoms are the face may fall on 1 side causing mouth or eye to droop may not be able to raise arms due to weakness may have slurred speech sudden loss of vision dizziness balance and co-ordination problems.

"These are some of the things Ted was going through and yet still managed to compleat (sic) the game. Ted would like to say a huge thank you for the kind comments he has received."

Stevenson later confirmed to Press Association Sport that Hankey has also been diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure and cholesterol.

"He'll have to change his lifestyle," said Stevenson. "It all came out during the tests and it's now just a matter of looking after him."

Stevenson believes the Stoke-born Hankey was starting to rediscover his best form prior to last week's setback.

A 5-0 opening defeat against Robert Thornton in the Grand Slam tournament was followed up by a 5-3 win over Steve Beaton, leaving him needing to beat Van Gerwen, who reached the final of the event, 5-0 or 5-1.

"He was starting to play well," added Stevenson. "He got beat by Thornton but he had chances to be four-nil up there and he then won against Beaton.

"Ted's a quality player. What Van Gerwen's done this week, he could have beaten Ted without what happened but we'll never know."

Hankey will miss the 2013 PDC World Darts Championship as he continues his recuperation, with the qualifiers set to begin next Monday.

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