would like to return to Cherepovets

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The current hockey season for an experienced 35-year-old defender Dmitry Yushkevich, alas, completed. After playing in the St. Petersburg SKA half of the season with hellish pain in the knee, the hockey player was forced to agree to the operation. Now the resident of Cherepovets is undergoing a rehabilitation course in a St. Petersburg clinic and is thinking about the next season.

– Back in late September – early October, I felt discomfort in my knee, – says Dmitry Yushkevich. – But given that the season had just begun, I did not attach any importance to this and, in order to numb the pain, I took pain relievers, anti-inflammatory pills. This went on for three months, and my liver and kidneys began to bother me. It turned out that these pills can be taken no more than 1 – 2 weeks … But without the pills it was simply unbearable: I could not sleep, at 6 – 7 am I got up from pain and did not go to bed anymore.

– Did the team know about this?

– Yes, the guys, the coaches and the doctors knew. It happened that I even skipped workouts so as not to load my leg.

– Why didn’t you start the surgery then?

– The doctor told me: play while you can … At that moment SKA was not in the best position. The team fell into the hole. There was a change of coaches, Boris Mikhailov left, the team was headed by Yuri Leonov. We talked with the management and decided that as long as I can, I will help the team. Then I could not leave, because someone would have thought that I ran away because of difficulties. I’m used to playing in leader teams, but here I’m 14-15 … But my leg hurt constantly and more and more. Then I realized that I could no longer play at a good level. Therefore, I again spoke with the management of the club, and a decision was made about the operation.

– Why did you decide to have the operation in Russia, and not in America or Europe, as most of our athletes do?

– SKA goalkeeper Maxim Sokolov recommended a Russian clinic to me. His knee was operated on there three times. Indeed, this clinic is of a good European level. The doctor says everything is fine and is going according to plan. The main thing is not to force events. It’s hard for me now. Playoff soon, and I have a forced pause. Even my nerves fail … I’m a professional hockey player.

– And what about relatives, friends?

– The wife, of course, helps a lot. And so I don’t really have friends in St. Petersburg, only guys from the team sometimes come. At first, after the operation, the whole team called me, but now the games are every other day, and the guys have no time. Sergei Gusev, Sasha Drozdetsky only call frequently. Therefore, as soon as possible, I want to return to Yaroslavl. I have many friends there, and my mother can come from Cherepovets at any time. And in Yaroslavl, in Lokomotiv, they always created all the conditions for me.

– Dmitry, how realistic is it to play at the same high level after rehabilitation?

– If I cannot return to that level of mine, then it is better to finish. But I spoke with the doctor – and I hope for the best … They hint to me about coaching, but I think it’s too early. I want to play! What can I do about it? ..

– You had a contract with SKA for one season. Where would you like to play next?

– To be honest, I would like to return home … to Cherepovets. But this will completely depend on the management of the Severstal hockey club.

– Why in Cherepovets? Are you thinking of ending your career at home?

– I remember how I came from Lokomotiv to Cherepovets – my hometown, from where I left when I was 15 – and received tremendous moral support from fans, any person in the city. I have not met such support anywhere in my career. Therefore, I was very energized by Cherepovets. I gained a lot of confidence and played at a very high level at Magnitogorsk the following season. Therefore, now I would very much like to return to Cherepovets, home. I’m not talking about ending my career there, but just want to play there for the audience who loved me and, I hope, still remember and love me.

– Are you going to visit the children in America?

– In the spring I plan to fly to America for my children and go on vacation to Europe together. And then I will return to Russia and prepare for the next season. I can’t live without hockey.

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