Reuters - Mon, 22 Mar 17:02:00 2010
Yevgeny Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion, will undergo more knee surgery to overcome his latest injury setback and plans to return to competitive figure skating fully fit next season.
The Russian was forced to pull out of this week's World Championships in Turin, citing pain in his right knee.
"I think I just aggravated an old injury," Plushenko, who won a silver in the Vancouver Games last month, told Reuters after returning from Italy on Monday.
"Soon after the Vancouver Olympics I started training again. I wanted to add a second quad in my programme and I think that put too much pressure on the knee," said the 27-year-old, who had surgery on the same knee in 2007.
"I was examined in St Petersburg and the doctor advised me not perform strenuous exercise for at least two weeks. That's why I couldn't compete in Turin.
"It's the World Championships and you only want to skate there if you 100 per cent fit."
Nevertheless, Plushenko said he would take part in several exhibition shows over the next few weeks.
"In exhibitions I don't need to do a quad. I can do a triple Axel without putting extra pressure on my knees.
"Then, sometime in May or June I plan to have (another) surgery on my right knee but I'm optimistic I'll be 100 per cent ready next season."
Plushenko said he had overcome his Vancouver disappointment and confirmed his desire to compete on home ice at the 2014 Sochi Games.
"I've already written it (Sochi) in my plans. As for Vancouver it's in the past, and I want to look to the future."
The 2006 Olympic champion stirred controversy in Vancouver after being edged out by American Evan Lysacek for the title.
Plushenko heavily criticised the judges for marking him down in the short programme, when he was the only skater to land a quadruple jump cleanly, and on Monday he reiterated his belief that Lysacek was not the 'real' Olympic champion.
"Every single person, who understands figure skating and is unbiased, knows who the real champion was," he said.
"But life goes on and I'm not going to kill myself for what had happened in Vancouver.
"I've said many times that my only competition is myself."