MOSCOW (AP) — Russian figure skater Evgeny Plushenko is facing an operation on his spine that will keep him out of the world championships.
Plushenko's coach Alexei Mishin was quoted by the newspaper Sovietsky Sport as saying the 2006 Olympic gold medalist would be operated on Thursday in Israel to replace a deteriorated spinal disc with a plastic one.
Plushenko won Olympic silver in Vancouver in judging that was controversial because he performed quadruple jumps, while gold winner Evan Lysacek did not. He had hoped to win a second gold at the games in his home country, but the 30-year-old has struggled with injuries.
Plushenko withdrew after the short program at last week's European Championships. Mishin said recovery from the operation would be "quite long" but Plushenko could train for next season.