Injury list worsens for CSKA
CSKA Moscow manager Leonid Slutsky on Friday said he was concerned about the fitness levels of his players as they start preparations for next month's Champions League last 16 round clash against Real Madrid.
The Red Army side's players have just returned to Moscow after the winter break in the Russian Premier League and are scheduled to travel to Spain next week to set up a training camp.
In Spain they will be without their Chilean international striker Mark Gonzalez, who has failed to overcome injuries, and Nigerian defender Chidi Odiah, who left CSKA in December.
Brazilian forward Vagner Love's future at CSKA, meanwhile, remains uncertain as the 27-year-old striker is being targetted by Brazilian first division side Flamengo and the French top flight side Lyon.
Japanese playmaker Keisuke Honda will fly with CSKA to Spain but he is still on the way to full recovery after knee surgery.
Russian international goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who also underwent knee surgery, is also on the injury list and is unlikely to be be fully fit in time for the two games against Real.
"Only Czech forward Tomas Necid and Serbian midfielder Zoran Tosic have recovered completely for our first training camp," Slutsky said.
"Though Honda is dreaming of playing against Real Madrid we should think about the player's health and I will never let him play in case he's not completely healthy and fit for the match."
"We also have to seek a replacement for Odiah at right wing and possibly strengthen our attack in case Vagner leaves us in a transfer move."
"Our goalkeeping position is also a worry as Vladimir Gabulov, who was playing for CSKA on loan last year, can return to Anzhi Makhachkala. Everything will depend on Anzhi's new coach Yury Krasnozhan."
Slutsky added that despite his team's problems he was confident that his squad would be able to provide tough opposition for Real.
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