Leonid Buryak faces an anxious wait on Andriy Shevchenko, after including the injured AC Milan striker in his Ukraine squad for the EURO 2004™ qualifiers against Greece and Northern Ireland later this month.
Shevchenko said he had been advised against attempting to rush his recovery in order to play against Greece on 12 October, but that he was hoping to figure in Belfast four days later. He is reported to be making good progress after undergoing knee surgery in August and will start light training soon.
Malyukhin called up
Shevchenko apart, there are several other surprise selections in Buryak's squad - made in response to the injury crisis which has hit the national team. FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk defender Serhiy Malyukhin has received his first call-up as a replacement for club colleague Volodymyr Yezersky, who was sent off in the opening Group 8 game against Armenia.
Another Dnipro player, Oleh Venhlinskiy, who presently leads the Ukrainian scoring charts with eight goals in ten games, has been recalled after a three-year break. "We will do all we can to advance from the group, but we have serious problems because of injuries," Buryak said.
'We have a capable team'
"Greece are a much-improved team under Otto Rehhagel, and Northern Ireland should not be underestimated when playing at home. However, the game in Yerevan has shown that we can do well even without Shevchenko, and we have a capable national team". Ukraine drew 2-2 with Armenia last month and were only denied victory by an injury-time penalty.
Shutkov, Reva, Medin, Starostyak, Tymoschuk, Zubov, Vorobey, Dmitrulin, Nesmachnyi, Husin, Melaschenko, Radchenko, Konovalov, Moroz, Venglinskyi, Luzhnyi, Kormiltsev, Serebrennikov, Rebrov, Kalinichenko, Skrypnyk, Shevchenko, Voronin.
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