FC Dynamo Kyiv and Ukraine defender Yuri Dmitrulin will be out of action for several weeks after undergoing surgery for appendicitis.
Similar to Raúl
The 28-year-old was taken to hospital on Saturday. "Dmitrulin will take three to four weeks to recover, he is in a condition similar to [Real Madrid CF forward] Raúl González's," Dynamo doctor Volodymyr Malyuta said.
Dmitrulin will miss important matches against FC Shakhtar Donetsk on 21 May in the league at the Lobanovskiy stadium and then on 25 May at the Olympiyskiy stadium in the Ukrainian Cup final. Dynamo trail Shakhtar by two points in the league standings.
Bad news for Ukraine
With two crucial UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifiers approaching Dmitrulin's injury is also bad news for the Ukrainian national team. On 7 June, Leonid Buryak's side take on Armenia in Lviv, and on 11 June they travel to Greece. Ukraine are second in Group 6, four points adrift of Spain, and ahead of Greece only on goal difference.
As well as the absence of Dmitrulin, who has been capped 36 times, Buryak will also have to do without FC Spartak Moskva defender Vladislav Vaschuk. The 28-year-old, who has played 49 games for his country, sustained a serious injury in a Russian league match against SC Rotor Volgograd at the weekend.
Ukraine therefore face something of a defensive crisis with Dmytro Parfionov, Victor Skrypnyk, Hennadiy Zubov, Serhiy Shyschenko and Olexandr Horshkov also missing through injury.
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