Updated: Monday, 12 May 2014 23:19 | By Agence France-Presse

Plushenko set to prepare for new season

Russian figure skating icon Yevgeny Plushenko revealed Monday that he intends to begin preparations for a new season in June despite having announced his retirement after the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Plushenko set to prepare for new season

Russia's Yevgeny Plushenko performs in the Men's Figure Skating Team Short Program at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 6, 2014 - by Adrian Dennis

The 31-year-old pulled out of the men's individual competition at his home Games in Sochi because of a back problem after winning gold in the team event.

The 2006 Olympic men's champion underwent successful surgery in an Israeli clinic last month.

"I really feel much, much better now," Plushenko was quoted as saying by R-Sport news agency. 

"After the second operation everything seems to be all right with my back. One or two months later I'm planning to start practice and maybe to take part in some gala performances.

"I'm very happy that I've competed in the team event at Sochi and won my second Olympic title there."

Last month the Russian figure skating federation included Plushenko, who also won two Olympic silver medals in 2002 and 2010, in the provisional line-up for the national squad next season.

"In case Yevgeny wants to continue in amateur sport he without a doubt has the right to do so," figure skating chief Alexander Gorshkov said.

"His performance at the Sochi Games team competitions proved he's capable of doing it at a very high level.

"But he will have to pass the qualification for the major competitions along with the other national candidates."

The three-time world and seven-time European champion's coach Alexei Mishin confirmed that Plushenko was set to start preparations for the new season on June 1.

After Israeli doctors removed four screws from his back in March, Plushenko said he did not rule out returning to skating to compete for a record fifth Olympic medal.

"I don't exclude that I will have a fifth Olympics," said 10-time Russian champion Plushenko, who has won medals at every Olympics since Salt Lake City in 2002.

Plushenko took a break of two years after winning the Turin gold in 2006 and again after taking silver in Vancouver four years later.

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