Russia defender Dzhikiya tears ACL, World Cup in doubt
MOSCOW (AP) Russia defender Georgy Dzhikiya tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a club friendly on Thursday, and could be ruled out of the World Cup.
Dzhikiya hurt his left knee while playing for Spartak Moscow against Chinese team Shanghai SIPG in the United Arab Emirates. Video footage showed him clutching his knee and howling in pain, before being taken away on a stretcher.
Spartak said in a statement that Dzhikiya has been released from hospital and is in the team hotel, but that he will require an operation.
"It will be clear later how long Dzhikiya needs to recover," the club said.
Players with torn ACLs often need several months before they are able to play again.
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.
Updated January 18, 2018