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Russian figure skating star Plushenko diagnosed with new spine injury, to undergo surgery

September 15, 2015, 15:17 UTC+3
According to the president of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, it is highly possible that Plushenko would not be able to take part in the upcoming season’s competitions
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Evgeni Plushenko

Evgeni Plushenko

© Sergey Savostiyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. Russia’s titled figure skater, two-time Olympic Champion, Evgeni Plushenko, who announced his comeback to sports in mid-April, has been diagnosed with a new spine injury and will undergo another surgery, Alexander Gorshkov, the president of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, told TASS on Tuesday.

"He has been diagnosed with a crack in an intervertebral disc," Gorshkov said in an interview with TASS. "The date of the surgery has not been set as of yet. It [the surgery] will most likely take place in Israel."

Gorshkov added it was highly possible that Plushenko would not be able to take part in the upcoming season’s competitions.

"Obviously, he would skip the season," Gorshkov said. "As I understand, the nature of Plushenko’s injury allows him living normally, practicing and skating, but without any serious loads. It is undoubtedly impossible to imagine men’s single figure skating without them [serious loads]."

Although retired in the past Plushenko first stunned media in the summer of 2014 by announcing that he intended to compete for another title at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang, which may turn into his 5th career Olympics. He officially announced his comeback on April 17 this year.

The titled 32-year-old Russian figure skater performed in four Olympics throughout his career, winning his first Olympic gold at the 2006 Winter Games in Italy’s Turin and the second in February last year at Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. He retired from sports after the Sochi Olympics.

Plushenko, who also brought Russia silver medals both at the 2002 Olympics in US Salt Lake City and at the 2010 Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver and won seven European champion titles, struggled with back injuries over the two skating seasons prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but kept insisting that he would be able to perform well on his home ice.

He partly kept his promise winning the gold in team’s competition in Sochi, but his withdrawal from the men’s individuals saw him not only going to Israel last March for the surgery on his back, but drew mass criticism across Russia.

During a warm-up before the individuals’ performance, Plushenko attempted a triple axel jump, but landed uncomfortably aggravating his old injury and breaking a screw that supported an artificial intervertebral disk in his back.

Eventually, the Russian figure skating star withdrew from the competition and later announced that he had decided to quit sports for good.

In April, Plushenko was enlisted once again in the Russian national figure skating team.

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