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Persistent knee injury could lead to retirement for Volkov

Alexander Volkov captained Zenit in a successful season before sustaining his knee injury

Kazan, Russia, August 12, 2014 - Zenit Kazan’s middle blocker Alexander Volkov does not rule out retirement if he continues to feel pain in his knee when on the volleyball court. The 29-year-old Russian international, who was part of the Tatar squad which finished fourth in the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men, sustained a meniscus injury back in April and underwent surgery in May, but it is still unclear whether he will be able to recover completely.

The 2.10m volleyballer told ITAR-TASS that this time the injury may put an end to his competitive career. “I am working on my recovery in Kazan. At this point I cannot yet say how my knee feels, because I should not put it under strain yet,” Volkov explained. “At the end of August, or the beginning of September, I am going to Italy for testing. It is practically impossible to make any prediction about the timeline of my rehabilitation; we cannot even say if everything is going to be alright or not. It will be unclear until I get on a heavier training load, including volleyball exercises and moves. Everything depends on how my knee will behave. For now I am following a special exercise programme prepared by the specialists in Italy.”

Alexander Volkov actually injured his knee during the 2012 Olympic Games and missed the 2012-2013 season. He was back on the court for season 2013-2014 and helped Zenit qualify for the Final Four of the Champions League in Ankara, where he was honoured with the Fair Play Award. Volkov continued to be part of Zenit’s successful performances through the Final Six of the domestic championship in Russia, but this is when his knee gave up on him again and caused him to miss the semifinal and the gold medal match which led the team from Kazan to the national title.

“If the knee does not recover well and causes me pain during training and matches, I do not want to say it, but I may have to end my career,” Volkov continued. “But lets not think about the worst, better focus on the best. I am not making any guesses and I still hope that everything will be alright.”

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