MOSCOW, January 30 (R-Sport) - Evgeni Plushenko will have a back operation Thursday that will leave him temporarily unable to walk and out of the sport "for a long time," his coach Alexei Mishin told R-Sport on Wednesday.
The seven-time European champion will have a back disc replacement after a hernia ended his quest for an eighth European title last week, Mishin said.
Plushenko will be unable to walk for a month, realistically ending his hopes of competing at the world championships in March, and the focus will be on chasing his dream of a second Olympic gold medal in Sochi next year.
“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 said.
“Tomorrow, he will undergo the operation, but his preparation plans won’t be altered, because he’ll be able to walk and swim in four weeks’ time.”
Plushenko, 30, has battled knee and back problems and competition bans in recent years, and withdrew from the European championships last Thursday after an injury-hindered skate left him sixth following the short program.
Plushenko last underwent on operation on a herniated disc in Munich in November, and has only competed four times in the three seasons, winning one European title and two Russian nationals.