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Smirnov tears tendon in knee, Olympics in doubt

Two-time world bronze medalist injured himself at Panin Memorial
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Russia's second-best pairs team, Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, might have to sit out the season. -AFP

Russian pairs skater Alexander Smirnov, who with partner Yuko Kavaguti was almost assured of being one of Russia's Olympic pairs representatives, suffered a serious knee injury and is in danger of missing the season, the news service R-Sport reports.

Tamara Moskvina told R-Sport the skater suffered a ruptured patellar tendon during a fall at the Panin Memorial in St. Petersburg, the pair's first competition of the season.

The typical recovery time for an injury of this nature is several months, putting in serious jeopardy the couple's chances of representing Russia at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Kavaguti and Smirnov were scheduled to compete at 2013 Skate Canada and the 2013 NHK Trophy.

Last season the duo finished sixth at the world championships. They placed fourth at the 2010 Olympic Games and twice took the bronze at the world championships, in 2009 and 2010.

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