Russia defender Dzhikiya injured in friendly, WCup in doubt
MOSCOW (AP) Russia defender Georgy Dzhikiya suffered what seemed to be a serious knee injury in a friendly in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, prompting speculation it could affect his World Cup hopes.
Video footage of the friendly between Dzhikiya’s Spartak Moscow and Chinese team Shanghai SIPG showed Dzhikiya clutching his knee and howling in pain.
He was carried away on a stretcher. Russia media reported he was taken away in an ambulance.
Dzhikiya has become a key defender for Russia over the last year, filling the gap left by the international retirement of veterans such as Sergei Ignashevich and Vasily Berezutsky.
He has played eight times for Russia including starts in all three of the team’s games at last year’s Confederations Cup.
Russia will play Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uruguay in the World Cup group stage.