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An upbeat Plushenko vows to wow in Torino

After that, more surgery may be in the cards

How far will Evgeni Plushenko advance in the U.S. Figure Skating online bracket?
How far will Evgeni Plushenko advance in the U.S. Figure Skating online bracket? (Getty Images)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(02/28/2010) - Evgeni Plushenko seems to have recovered his good humor.

The 27-year-old Russian, who won Olympic gold in 2006 and silver in 2002, was none too happy after his loss to Evan Lysacek here, saying -- among other things - that the quad-triple combination in his free skate was undervalued.

"Without the quad, I am sorry, but it is not men," he said.

Lysacek did not try a quad.

The intervening week seems to have lifted his spirits; he came off the ice after his Olympic exhibition on Saturday singing and granting interviews.

"I would like to go to the worlds; I would like to skate there and finish this season," Plushenko said after his performance Johnny Halladay's melancholy "Je Suis Malade."

"It doesn't matter to me which place I'm going to have. I would like to skate clean, like I can. After that, I am going to do the touring in Europe and Russia."

Halladay's song, roughly translated, tells the tale of a sick man, and according to Plushenko, it's not too far off the mark. The difference is the man in the song is lovesick, while it's Plushenko's body that is sore.

"After the shows, I am going to go to Munich and see my doctors," the three-time world champion said.

"Maybe I need to make two surgeries, [to my] knee and ankle [heel]. And then I'm going to decide, if I skate [competitively] or not. I will make this pause and then continue."

Further inquiry revealed that there is a cyst on his right ankle. Plushenko claimed this injury, as well as lingering problems with his knee, affected his performances in Vancouver.

"Yes, they did bother me; not only knee, but also my foot," he said, before adding tongue-in-cheek, "You see, I am Robocop, I am the Terminator. Without this problem, what I could have done."

There was some buzz in the Japanese press corps about silver medalist Mao Asada -- who made history as the first woman to land three triple Axels at a competition -- approaching Plushenko at the exhibition practice, asking for pointers with her jumps.

"I can help her; I know a few things," Plushenko said. "If she wants to train with me, we can do that.

"She has problem with her landing, but she is very strong. She has fast rotations and big jumps, and that's important."

Asada has trained, at times, in Moscow under Tatiana Tarasova.

Plushenko had earlier hinted he might compete at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but now sounded less certain.

"I will definitely be at Sochi, but whether as a competitor, a volunteer or a coach, I do not know," he said.