Figure skating-Plushenko to miss world championships

Thu Feb 7, 2013 8:22am EST

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Feb 7 (Reuters) - Yevgeny Plushenko, who underwent back surgery last week, will miss next month's world figure skating championships.

"Yevgeny needs a few more weeks to fully recover. Therefore, he is not in a position to compete at the worlds," Plushenko's long-time mentor Alexei Mishin told Reuters on Thursday.

"If he was told to skate next month he would have to go head-to-head not only against the healthy opposition but compete against his own pain. That's just too much to take."

The world championships are taking place in London, Canada, from March 13-17.

The 30-year-old Plushenko, widely regarded as the most gifted skater of his generation, had to pull out of last month's European championships in Zagreb after aggravating his back problem during the short programme.

The 2006 Olympic champion was sidelined by the injury for almost a year before making a triumphant comeback by claiming his 10th Russian national title in December.

The flamboyant Russian, who controversially lost the 2010 Olympic title to American Evan Lysacek, underwent knee surgery last February, a month after clinching his seventh European crown in England.

However, Mishin said his charge was determined to come back strong next season in order to have another shot at an Olympic gold on home ice at the 2014 Games in Sochi.

"There's no doubt in my mind that Zhenya will be back next season and we'll make sure he is healthy and well prepared to compete against the best in the world," Mishin said. (Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov, editing by Ed Osmond)

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