Apr 25, 2014, 9:26 AM EDT
Russian Olympic figure skating champion Yevgeny Plushenko plans to return to competition after recovering from back surgery, perhaps as early as next season, according to Russia’s figure skating federation and his agent.
Russia’s figure skating federation listed Plushenko on a preliminary list of candidates for the national team in a story Thursday, saying his coach, Aleksey Mishin, said Plushenko would start preparing for next season June 1.
In an email citing the article, the skater’s agent was asked if Plushenko intended to compete next season.
“He just loves to compete and after another surgery will try again,” Ari Zakarian said in the email. “I guess that’s in his blood.”
Plushenko, 31, announced his retirement after withdrawing from the men’s event at the Sochi Olympics due to his injured back. Earlier in the Olympics, Plushenko helped Russia to gold in the new team event, making him the only modern figure skating medalist at four straight Olympics.
Five days later, Plushenko left open the possibility of returning in comments on Russian TV, according to Reuters. He later had back surgery in March, with RIA Novosti reporting a recovery process of at least six months.
“If need be, I’ll have another 10 operations … I’m not ruling out that I’ll go for a fifth Olympic Games,” he said. “I am not ruling out that I want stay in sports, to prove [something] to many [people] and myself.”
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