MOSCOW: Russia's international forward Alexander Kokorin will likely miss the World Cup after suffering an injury to the cruciate ligaments of his right knee during Thursday's Europa League match of his club Zenit St Petersburg.
"The examination of the injury that Kokorin has suffered in the match with RB Leipzig revealed the rupture of the cruciate ligaments of his right knee," said a statement on Zenit's website.
Kokorin is expected to undergo treatment at a clinic in Rome.
The injury creates a headache for Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov, who will have to find a replacement for his first-choice striker Kokorin just days ahead of friendlies against five-time world champions Brazil and 1998 World Cup winners France.
Russia have recently lost Spartak full-back Georgy Dzhikiya and CSKA Moscow wing-back Viktor Vasin, who have been sidelined with the same injury.
As a rule, it takes between five and six months to fully recover from ruptured cruciate ligaments in the knee, meaning Kokorin, Vasin and Dzhikiya will be unlikely to play during the World Cup, which Russia is hosting between June 14 and July 15.