FOR the latter part of the Betfred World Championships the table-fitting team at the Bristol-based World Snooker Services have had to do without one of their most experienced and popular members in Chris Barnes.

And Inside Snooker would like to join colleagues, friends and everyone else in the sport in wishing Chris a speedy recovery from a nasty injury suffered in the course of his professional duties at the Crucible this year.

While de-rigging and setting up the one-table on Wednesday night Chris saw his little finger become badly crushed by one of the very heavy slate slabs that form part of the unit.

He was rushed to A&E in an ambulance, and medical staff have assessed him continually hoping to save the tip of his finger, with surgery on the agenda in the next couple of days.

As with the other table-fitters Chris spends the year travelling around the world as a key member of an often unsung team, without whose efforts none of the tournaments we watch would be possible.

Chris and his wife are also expecting a baby imminently, so could do with knowing everyone is thinking about them at this time while those in the snooker world look forward to seeing him back on the circuit as soon as possible.

And even with far more important things to focus on we are sure Chris might still have one eye on his beloved Bristol Rovers this weekend as they bid to regain Football League status via the Conference play-offs.