Plushenko to have back surgery, will miss worlds

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MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian figure skater Evgeny Plushenko is having back surgery that will keep him out of the world championships in March.

Plushenko's coach, Alexei Mishin, was quoted by the newspaper Sovietsky Sport as saying the 2006 Olympic gold medalist would be operated on Thursday in Israel to replace a deteriorated disk in his spine with a plastic one.

Plushenko won Olympic silver in Vancouver in judging that was questioned because he performed quadruple jumps, while gold winner Evan Lysacek did not. The 30-year-old Russian had hoped to win a second gold at the games in his home country, but has struggled with injuries.

He withdrew after the short program at last week's European Championships.

Mishin said recovery from the operation would be "quite long," but Plushenko could train for next season.