Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Plushenko to have back surgery in March

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia left the ice after pulling out of the Olympic men's short program figure skating competition.

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia left the ice after pulling out of the Olympic men's short program figure skating competition.

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Four-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko will have back surgery on March 2.

Plushenko, 31, withdrew from the men’s figure skating short program at the Sochi Games just days after helping Russia win the team gold. He warmed up for the event on Feb. 13 and then dropped out, leaving the host nation with no competitor.

Continue reading below

The 2006 gold medalist has a history of injuries and fought several physical problems throughout his career. He says he has had 12 surgeries.

The upcoming operation will repair a screw in his back that snapped. The screw supported a disk.

Plushenko competed sporadically after winning a silver medal at the 2010 Olympics. He won three national titles and a European championship, but did not go to worlds in any of those seasons.

He remained steadfast in his goal of skating at the Sochi Games, however, but when he finished behind Maxim Kovtun at the Russian championships, that objective became a long shot.

Then Kovtun struggled at the Europeans championships, and Plushenko was given a private test session by the Russian federation to prove he was fit. The federation was convinced and Plushenko was added to the team.

He got his modern-era record fourth medal with the team gold. He also has a silver medal from the 2002 Games.

Plushenko was criticized by his countrymen for withdrawing from the men’s event and leaving the Russians with no one in the field. Russia did not place highly enough in the 2013 world championships to get more than one spot at the Olympics.

Many of his peers supported him, however, citing his injury history. He also got a boost from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said, ‘‘He performed in the team event and showed his best result.’’

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week