Problems mount for MedvediArticle
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Will the injured Russian sharp-shooters return in time?

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Problems mount for Medvedi

Hard times for the Russian team at the EHF FINAL4, Chekhovskie Medvedi. Even though they defeated the French champion Montpellier HB in the Quarterfinals and thus qualified for the EHF FINAL4, it is still uncertain whether left-back Alexey Rastvortsev will return to the squad in Cologne. He is suffering from an injured right hand, which is on his shooting arm. Even worse: his replacement, Andrey Starykh is also injured.

The 32-year-old Rastvortsev has so far scored 69 goals during this year’s Champions League season, and he has been one of main pillars for Medvedi while achieving the biggest success in the club’s history.

It would be a big blow for the Bears if he could not play at the meeting of Europe’s four best teams in Cologne, Germany. Bad luck hit the team again, when his replacement, the 26-year-old Andrey Starykh got injured in the return leg of the Quarterfinal against Montpellier HB.

The first diagnosis suggested that he might play in the next scheduled games, but last weekend he was rested in the league match. Further examinations will follow this week. If the results are negative, coach Vladimir Maximov will have a hard time to find replacements for his missing proven goal-scorers in the Lanxess Arena in the semi-final against FC Barcelona Borges.

EHF Champions League FINAL4, Semi-Final
Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS)  vs  F.C. Barcelona Borges. (ESP)
29 May 2010, 15:30 hrs, LANXESS arena, Cologne (GER)


TEXT: Márk Hegedüs