Russia lose Pogrebnyak
07 Jun 2008 - 17:06:24
Russia coach Guus Hiddink has been forced to draft midfielder Oleg Ivanov into his squad after Pavel Pogrebnyak was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.
Pogrebnyak sustained a left knee cartilage problem in last month's 2-1 friendly win against Serbia and has not trained with the rest of the Russia squad since.
A disappointed Hiddink said: "It was Pogrebnyak's own decision to leave the squad. We tried everything to get him fit but it was impossible.
"It's a big blow for the team and especially a big blow for the player himself. He was a very important player for us especially after what he did in the UEFA Cup this season."
Pogrebnyak missed Zenit St Petersburg's UEFA Cup Final win against Rangers last month through suspension after scoring ten goals earlier in the competition.
Russia will also be without suspended playmaker Andrei Arshavin for their Group D opener against Spain in Innsbruck on June 10.