June 17 (UPI) — Russia’s scoring midfielder Alan Dzagoev told reporters he won’t have enough time to recover from an injury and will have to miss group stage matches against Egypt and Uruguay.
“It is difficult to say how long it will take, medics will monitor the improvement,” Dzagoev said.
“Hope I still have a chance to play. I hope to God we will qualify for the playoffs, and I will be able to play. There is still some hope left,” he said.
Dzagoev was injured in the opening match of the World Cup in which Russia faced Saudi Arabia, winning 5-0. About half an hour into the first half, Dzagoev boosted off for an offensive rush on the goal of the opponents, but fell down.
Medics were called out onto the pitch. Dzagoev was diagnosed with muscle injury and undergoes medical treatment.
Russia, placed in Group A, is playing its next group stage match against Egypt on June 19 in St. Petersburg. On June 25, it will face Uruguay in a match in Samara.