WATERFORD city darts professional Damien ‘The Double’ Lyons has announced today that he will be out of the game for the next 6 months due to what doctors are calling “pint elbow” – a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender at the lateral epicondyle from the excessive downing of pints.
Lyons, who has won dozens of major Irish darts competitions over the past 24 years, first complained of a pain in his elbow last month at the Irish open, forcing him out of the competition during the early stages.
“It’s not something you would imagine happening to you,” he opened up for the first time since bowing out, “you’d hear stories about pint elbow, but never met anyone who actually got it… until now”.
Following a series of tests, x-rays and MRI’s, Lyons was finally told by doctors on Friday that he had full scale pint elbow and that if he didn’t rest his pint arm he may never be able to play darts again.
“Darts is my life, and drinking pints go hand-in-hand with playing; if I can’t drink, I can’t play,” the now emotional 38-year-old explains, “the doctors suggested using a straw to drink from the pint glass, but can you imagine a darts player walking onto the competition with a fecking straw in a pint? I’d be laughed off the stage and called a big pansy”.
Since contracting pint elbow, Lyons claims that his fellow dart peers have all but abandoned him over fears the condition may be contagious.
“There’s a lot of stigma attached to pint elbow and I can understand how some of the lads may want to keep away from me,” he added, now caressing his box of darts on the table in a reminiscing manner, “players need to be educated on pint elbow and know how to prevent it from happening. It’s not contagious, just very debilitating. More should be done in the sport to highlight the condition”.
Specialists believe ‘The Double’ Lyons may have to learn to use his other hand to drink pints,that could take several years to perfect and be allowed back into the darts league.
“It’s like learning to walk again,” Lyons concluded.