Igor Denisov ruled out of Euro 2016 as Russia's injury
Russia midfielder Igor Denisov will miss the European Championship after
he suffered an injury in the Sunday's 1-1 friendly draw with Serbia.
Dinamo Moscow defensive midfielder Denisov, 32, limped off early in the
second half with a thigh injury, adding to injury problems for Russia,
who had already lost midfielder Alan Dzagoev last month.
Denisov and Dzagoev were both regular starters in qualifying, but Russia
coach Leonid Slutsky remains upbeat despite not having any more warmup
matches before Saturday's Euro 2016 opener against England.
"We'd only just started rebuilding after Dzagoev and now we have
to rebuild after Denisov without the help of any friendly games,"
he told reporters.
"These difficulties will only bring our team together and we'll be
playing with more enthusiasm."
Denisov had been making his 54th appearance for Russia, who have few obvious
replacements for his defensively minded role.
Russia's Artem Dzyuba and Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic both scored late
with shots from the centre of the box for the only goals in an otherwise
slow game with few chances on Sunday. Dzyuba scored in the 85th minute,
only for Mitrovic to level the game three minutes later.
Serbia, who failed to qualify for Euro 2016, are playing their first matches
since coach Slavoljub Muslin took over last month.