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Injured Russia striker Pogrebnyak ruled out of Euro 2008

Injured Russia striker Pogrebnyak ruled out of Euro 2008

Russia striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has been ruled out of the European Championship with a knee injury.
Russia coach Guus Hiddink ended days of speculation about the Zenit St. Petersburg forward on Saturday, after he missed another training session because of the meniscus injury he picked up shortly up after scoring the opening goal in Russia's 2-1 defeat of Serbia in a friendly on May 28.
"Pavel will leave the training camp, will leave the team," Hiddink said. "We tried as much as possible but at the end he made the decision not to continue and to leave the camp."
Hiddink said Oleg Ivanov would replace Pogrebnyak.
The news was a blow to Hiddink, who is already missing star playmaker Andrei Arshavin for Russia's first two Euro 2008 matches due to suspension. With Pogrebnyak also out, the coach will be without his two most potent scoring threats against Group D favorite Spain and defending champion Greece. Arshavin should be back for Russia's last group match, against Sweden in Innsbruck.
Pogrebnyak was expected to be Russia's key striker after finishing joint top scorer on 10 goals in this season's UEFA Cup with Luca Toni of Bayern Munich.
"He is one of the most promising in Russian football, he proved that in the UEFA Cup," Hiddink said.
Hiddink said it was sad not only for the player, but "for us as national team as well because ... you cannot be sure, but he can make a goal or two or more, maybe 10 like he did in UEFA (Cup)."
Pogrebnyak said he aggravated an earlier injury against Serbia and would likely have to undergo surgery to fix his knee.
"I felt pain and decided to give it more rest, but there was no miracle," the dejected striker said.
Ivanov, a midfielder with Krylya Sovetov Samara, was part of Hiddink's initial, larger Euro 2008 squad, but was cut by the Dutch coach. He said getting the call-up was a dream.
"But I am sorry for Pavel, it should have been his tournament," Ivanov said.


Updated : 2021-08-06 10:43 GMT+08:00