PETER WRIGHT believes that he is returning to his best form, as he prepares to face Rob Cross in the Unibet Premier League on Thursday.

The world number two and UK Open champion saw the end of 2017 hampered by a bout of gallstones, which caused him to be briefly hospitalised ahead of the World Championship.

Wright used the January break to recover and has reached four ProTour semi-finals recently, as well as defeating Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League in Cardiff last week.

Having spent some time alternating with his darts, Wright believes that his 'diamond' design darts will be his arrow of choice as he bids to surpass his tally of 11 tournament wins from 2017.

Wright revealed: "I've not been 100 percent and since Christmas I've been getting used to losing weight.

"My throw has changed a bit so I've had to see what I needed to do. It was all to do with the follow-through of throw to get them to the board, and I've got to throw them a little bit harder.

"I'm back using the diamond darts, and after coming back from Wigan at the weekend I've put all my other darts away - I've only got the diamond ones out now.

"The last couple of weekends have been good practice too,, figuring out which darts I should be using and getting my throw correct.

"All the lack of practice affected me, because normally I practice every single day. Not practising for weeks is not good for my preparation but I'm working harder than ever and that will pay off.

"I think I'll be fitter at the end of the days in events, especially events like the European Tour. I should start winning again soon."

Wright did taste victory in Cardiff last Thursday with a 7-5 success against Van Gerwen in a repeat of the 2017 final, which saw the Scot follow up his opening-night draw with Gerwyn Price by claiming two Premier League points.

He added: "I'd played Michael on the weekend before in the UK Open Qualifiers and I came close to beating him there not playing well.

"I was pretty confident that if I played half that game again and upped it a little bit that I should beat him, and I did."

Wright now meets World Champion Rob Cross at the Metro Radio Arena on Thursday, with the Premier League newcomer still searching for his first points after suffering two defeats in the opening fortnight.

Cross bounced back to form in last weekend's UK Open Qualifiers, which included a semi-final win over Wright on Saturday.

"Rob's come back into form," said Wright. "He's the World Champion so he's already a good player but he didn't do well in the first two weeks of the Premier League or the first weekend of the UK Open Qualifiers.

"Last weekend though he was back to normal again and his form's really good so it should be a good game. Normally when we play it's always a cracking game.

"I don't count the previous games though, I just worry about the next game. It doesn't matter if he's beaten me six times before or the other way, I'm just trying to win the game on Thursday because he's an excellent player."

A small number of tickets for Thursday's Unibet Premier League at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle are still available. To purchase tickets, visit www.eventim.co.uk or call 0844 493 6666.

Unibet Premier League
Night Three - February 15
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Mensur Suljovic v Michael Smith
Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright v Rob Cross
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld