Pogrebnyak ruled out
The saga on the fitness of Pavel Pogrebnyak is finally over, and the news is certainly not good for Russian fans or players. The striker has been formally ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury and will be replaced by Oleg Ivanov, the uncapped midfielder.
Pogrebnyak’s participation in Euro 2008 has been in doubt, ever since he picked up a knee injury in his side’s 2-1 victory over Serbia and despite recent signs of progress, the striker will not feature at the European Championships. A distraught Pogrebnyak said, “There is no point in keeping an injured player here. Life goes on, it doesn't end here. I must prepare for new games. The sooner I have the surgery the better for me and everybody else.”
The Zenith St. Petersburg striker had played a key role in the road to the UEFA Cup Final, scoring ten goals, but missed out on the final through suspension. “I thought about that. I don't understand what's going on. I was disappointed but this will pass. I will hopefully have more major tournaments to play and things will be okay.” said the striker.
The absence of Pavel Pogrebnyak will make the stern test of qualifying from Group D even harder. Russia have Spain, Sweden and Greece for company and none of them will be a walkthrough.
Tags: Pavel Pogrebnyak, Euro 2008, Russia