MOSCOW — Evgeni Plushenko, Russia’s two-time Olympic champion, underwent surgery in Israel on Monday, the country’s figure skating federation reported.
“During medical testing in Israel last year doctors discovered a hernia between my sixth and seventh cervical vertebras,” Plushenko told the federation’s website.
“I was forced to undergo surgery as the hernia pressurized the nerve and my left hand was almost completely non-operational. The pain in my neck has forced me to skip the current season.”
The skater added that he was still hoping to compete at his fifth Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.
“My main goal for the upcoming months is to recover completely to be able to continue practices,” Plushenko said. “After that I’m set to act according to circumstances.”
“I’m not going to change my plans concerning my participation in 2018 Olympics. I will keep on working.”
Plushenko’s doctor Ilya Pekarsky, who performed surgery on the 33-year-old skater, said: “For the moment the figure skater’s condition is satisfactory,” Pekarsky said.
“He will need to wear a special collar for at least six weeks. After that he can start swimming and limbering-up exercises. He can resume his ice practices not earlier than three months after surgery.”
The Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 were Plushenko’s last competitive tournament, where he has won the gold medal in team’s event.
He also won an individual gold medal at Turin Olympics in 2006 and two Olympic silver medals in Salt Lake City in 2002 and in Vancouver in 2010.
Plushenko has also won three world crowns, seven European titles and 10 Russian nationals during his career.