FC Anji Makhachkala midfielder Yuri Zhirkov will miss the start of the 2013/14 campaign after being ruled out for three months with a hamstring injury.
Zhirkov suffered the problem during Russia's 1-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying defeat in Portugal on 7 June and is expected to be out until August or September. "I felt pain after a collision with an opponent," the 29-year-old left-footer said. "During the break I had a rub-down from our doctor and the pain went but upon returning home I realised something was wrong. Tests show I have torn the lateral muscle in my hamstring."
Though there is also damage to another muscle in his left leg, Zhirkov does not yet require surgery. He will have a better idea of how long a lay-off he faces after further tests in a fortnight. However, the former PFC CSKA Moskva and Chelsea FC player will sit out the beginning of the new Russian season as well as the World Cup Group F game against Northern Ireland in Belfast on 14 August.
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