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Back surgery knocks Plushenko out of worlds

Russian star expected to be laid up for a month

Evgeni Plushenko's coach, Alexei Mishin, is hopeful his pupil will be healthy enough to begin training again for the 2013-14 Olympic season.
Evgeni Plushenko's coach, Alexei Mishin, is hopeful his pupil will be healthy enough to begin training again for the 2013-14 Olympic season. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(01/31/2013) - Evgeni Plushenko underwent surgery in Israel on Thursday to replace a disc in his back, a procedure that will force the Russian star to miss the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships, the news agency R-Sport reported.

Alexei Mishin, Plushenko's coach, told the news site fcp-press.ru on Thursday that the surgery, which involved replacing a disc in Plushenko's ailing back with a plastic one, was an initial success.

"The operation went well," Mishin said. "On the recovery, [it's] still early ... At least, I can say that [for] the main period of preparation for the Olympics, he will be ready."

Plushenko withdrew from last week's 2013 European Figure Skating Championships after the short program, citing a herniated disc in his back. The seven-time European champion sat sixth after the short program at the event, where he has never finished lower than second.

The surgery will keep Plushenko off his feet for four weeks.

"The recovery will last a long time, but not so much to set back his preparation for the (2013-14) season, where the main competition will be the Olympics," Mishin told R-Sport.

Prior to the European championships, Plushenko had competed only once this season, winning his 10th national title in late December in Sochi.