Plushenko to miss worlds
Former Olympic champion Yevgeny Plushenko, who has only just returned to competition following a ban, will miss the figure skating world championships in March while he recovers from knee surgery.
Appearing at the European figure skating championships in the British city of Sheffield, his first major event since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the Russian was in pain and did not perform a tricky quadruple jump in his short program.
"After this competition I am going to have surgery in Germany, meniscus again, and then I will stop skating for a while and recuperate, then continue next year," the 29-year-old gold medallist from the 2006 Turin Games told reporters.
"I can't (compete at the world championships in Nice, France), we did many injections here, they don't work anymore, they don't help me so I can't."
He will find out later in the day where he will be ranked with his score of 84.71 points, some way short of his personal best of 91.30 but still a strong score, before taking part in Saturday's free program where the medals will be decided.
Plushenko, who created a storm of controversy in Vancouver when he won silver and declared gold medal winner Evan Lysacek was not a "true champion" because the American had not attempted a quadruple jump, considered the most difficult in skating.
Later that year he was slapped with an indefinite ban by the International Skating Union (ISU) for taking part in exhibitions without the permission of the world governing body.
The suspension was lifted last June and Plushenko has set about preparing for his home Olympics in Sochi in 2014, where he will be aiming to make it four medals from four Games to add to two silvers and a gold.