Figure skating: Plushenko to miss the figure skating worlds

Russia's figure skating icon Evgeni Plushenko will have to miss the world championships, which is due to take place at London, Canada, on March 13-17, the country's figure skating federation general manager Valentin Piseyev said Thursday.

"Evgeni (Plushenko) will miss the world championships because he is unable to recover completely after recent backbone surgery," RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Piseyev as saying.

"We will decide who will replace Plushenko in the national team at the Russian Cup finals."

Piseyev has named Maxim Kovtun, Sergei Voronov, Konstantin Menshov and Artur Gachinsky among the candidates for a place in the Russian squad to perform at the world championships.

Russian Cup finals will take place at Tver on February 16-19.

Three-time world champion and 2006 Olympic Games winner Plushenko underwent spinal surgery on January 31.

He effectively retired from competition after the 2010 Vancouver Olympics but returned to the amateur circuit last year and won his 10th national title in December.

Last month Plushenko, 30, failed to win his eighth European title when he was forced to retire in Zagreb with a back injury, which forced him to undergo surgery in Israel on an intervertebral disc.