Pogrebnyak replacement permitted
UEFA has given Russia permission to substitute injured striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, Russian media reports said Saturday, indicating a doctor accredited with European football's governing body had signed a statement saying he ought not to play at UEFA EURO 2008.
Earlier, the Russian camp had called in UEFA's medical commission to examine the knee injury Pogrebnyak suffered in a warm-up friendly win over Serbia in a move which seemed likely to presage his withdrawal from the squad. Such a visit from UEFA medical staff is required if a player is allowed to be replaced once the official squad has been announced.
Zenit St Petersburg striker Pogrebnyak had been hoping to get fit for Tuesday's match with Spain after Thursday undergoing an examination at the cabinet of specialist German team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.
Should he miss the tournament it would be a double-dose of heartache for Pogrebnyak, who finished this season's UEFA Cup campaign as joint top scorer along with Luca Toni with 10 goals. He missed out on the Russian side's final triumph over Scottish side Rangers through suspension.
After taking on the Spanish, Guus Hiddink's Russians meet holders Greece (June 14) and Sweden (June 18) in the group stage.