ROLAND SCHOLTEN has undergone surgery on his injured shoulder.

The Dutch ace has struggled with a problem across his shoulder and shoulder blade for the past year, with the injury worsening throughout 2008.

He saw a number of specialists and eventually took a break from darts from the PartyPoker.net European Championship - where he lost in the first round - until the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

While he did return to some form in Gibraltar last month, further tests on his shoulder revealed the need for surgery.

Scholten, the 2004 UK Open champion, had an operation over the weekend and is hoping to be fit to return to action in mid-March.

After reaching the semi-finals of the Las Vegas Desert Classic in July, he has since dropped out of the world's top 16 and has failed to get past the first round of a televised event.

"I'm relieved that the operation has been a success," said Scholten. "I'm glad it's over and am hoping to recovery quickly.

"I'd also like to thank my fans and everyone in the darts world who has sent me best wishes and my sponsors - Stena Line, Hartman and Datadart - for their support during these hard times."