Russia striker Ivanov replaces injured Pogrebnyak at Euro

June 8th, 2008 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Leogang (Austria), June 8 (DPA) Russia striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has been ruled out of Euro 2008 with a knee injury and will be replaced by uncapped Krylya Sovetov Samara midfielder Oleg Ivanov, it was confirmed Saturday. Pogrebnyak suffered the meniscus injury to his left knee week in a tune-up match against Serbia but coach Guus Hiddink had hoped the player would recover in time to play at least from the second match onwards at Euro.

However, the 24-year-old Zenit St Petersburg star has failed to recover in time and Hiddink has now asked for medical personnel from the ruling body UEFA to visit the team-quarters to confirm the injury.

A UEFA injury confirmation is required when teams want to replace squad members which is possible ahead of their first game at Euro. Russia start into the tournament on Tuesday against Spain.

“It was Pogrebnyak’s own decision to leave the squad. We tried everything to get him fit but it was impossible,” said Hiddink. “It’s a big blow for the team and especially a big blow for the player himself.”

Pogrebnyak’s absence adds to Hiddink’s striking woes as his Zenit attacking partner Andrei Arshavin will have to sit out the first two games with Spain and holders Greece over a suspension.

It has been an unfortunate end to the season for Pogrebnyak, who was also suspended for the UEFA Cup final in May which Zenit won 2-0 over Glasgow Rangers. Pogrebnyak was joint UEFA Cup top scorer on 10 goals with Bayern Munich and Italy forward Luca Toni.

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