Saint Petersburg (AFP)
Russian defender Mario Fernandes was hospitalized on Wednesday after sustaining a back injury in a Euro 2020 game against Finland but avoided spinal damage, his team said.
The 30-year-old picked up a high ball in the Finnish box in the first half and fell awkwardly, the back of his neck taking full force from the landing.
The Brazilian-born CSKA Moscow player was transported off the pitch on a stretcher with a brace around his head and neck. He was replaced by Vyacheslav Karavayev.
His team said on Twitter that Fernandes was taken to a hospital in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second city for the game.
“According to the results of the exam, Mario did not suffer a spinal injury,” the team said later on Wednesday, adding that Fernandes was returning with his teammates to Moscow.
Fernandes’ injury is another blow to the team which has already lost veteran Yuri Zhirkov, injured in the 3-0 defeat to Belgium on Saturday.
Another defender, Fyodor Kudryashov, has yet to recover from an injury he sustained in a pre-tournament friendly.
Winger Andrei Mostovoy was replaced in the squad last week after testing positive for coronavirus.
Russia won a 1-0 victory over Finland in the Group B game between the two neighbors.
Their next game against Denmark is Monday in Copenhagen.
© 2021 AFP