Four-time Olympic medallist Plushenko to have back surgery in March
Evgeni Plushenko of Russia prepares to leave the ice after pulling out of the men's short program figure skating competition due to illness at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP / Ivan Sekretarev)
Barry Wilner, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, February 22, 2014 8:41AM EST
SOCHI, Russia -- Four-time Olympic medallist Evgeni Plushenko will have back surgery on March 2.
Plushenko withdrew from the men's short program at the Sochi Games just days after helping Russia win the team gold. He warmed up for the event on Feb. 13, then dropped out, leaving the host nation with no competitor.
The 2006 gold medallist has a history of injuries and fought several physical problems throughout his career. He says he has had 12 surgeries.
The upcoming operation will repair a screw in his back that snapped. The screw supported a disk.
Plushenko, added to the team by the Russian federation after a private test session in January, was criticized by his countrymen for withdrawing from the men's event. But many of his peers supported him, citing his injury history.