Kavaguti and Smirnov forced to miss Europeans
Smirnov in need of more recovery time after undergoing surgery for appendicitis
|Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov hope Smirnov can recover for the World Championships. (Getty Images)|
This will be the second straight competition missed by the 2010 European champions; Kavaguti and Smirnov had already opted out of the Russian Championships in late December. Smirnov came down with appendicitis just before that event. He went in for surgery Jan. 4, and his recovery from the procedure has been slow.
"Alex had surgery to remove his appendix just a week ago and under these circumstances, we decided it would be better not to take unnecessary risks," the pair's coach, Tatiana Moskvina, told Reuters.
Ksenia Stolbova and Fyodor Klimov, who finished second at the Russian championships, will compete in Kavaguti and Smirnov's place.
Once Smirnov's health has been restored, the team plans to begin preparing for the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships, set to take place March 26-April 1 in Nice.