Shevchenko doubtful

Andriy Shevchenko doubtful

June 17, 2012
By Associated Press

DONETSK, Ukraine -- Ukraine captain Andriy Shevchenko has injured his left knee and is a doubt for his team's must-win match against England on Tuesday in Group D of the European Championship.

Team spokesman Oleksandr Glyvynskiy said the striker's knee was swollen after picking up knocks in the previous group games against Sweden and France.

"We hope he can play but for the moment he is doubtful for the match," Glyvynskiy said.

Team doctor Leonid Mironov told a local TV station that the medical staff was working with Shevchenko in order to get him fit in time for Tuesday.

According to Mironov, such an injury would normally require two or three days of rest.

Shevchenko, who scored both his team's goals in an opening 2-1 win over Sweden, missed training on Sunday because of the injury.

Ukraine needs to beat England to stand a chance of advancing to the quarterfinals and missing Shevchenko would be a massive blow.

"He is a bit injured," said defensive midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Ukraine's most-capped player with 118 appearances, eight more than Shevchenko.

"I don't think it is that bad," Tymoshchuk said. "He is a very important player for us so let's hope he can play. He's our top scorer so it would be a shame if he can't play."

A 2-0 defeat to France on Friday could have been Shevchenko's last match for Ukraine. Long before the tournament, the 35-year striker announced his international retirement after Euro 2012.

"Everybody on the team hopes he can play," forward Andriy Voronin said. "He is very important in every game for Ukraine."

The remaining 22 players in the squad completed a light training session at the stadium of Metallurg Donetsk, attended by an estimated 1,000 fans who loudly cheered every goal.

Voronin, who scored eight goals in 74 matches for Ukraine, is clearly hoping for a repeat of his side's opening match of the tournament.

"During the game against Sweden, there was a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium," he said. "We won and the whole country was very, very happy. We want to do the same in two days."

The fate of the tournament's other co-host was another inspiration ahead of the Group D finale.

"We don't want the same as Poland," he said. "We want to go further."