Evgeni Plushenko sets surgery date

MOSCOW -- Former Olympic figure skating champion Evgeni Plushenko said Friday that he will have surgery Feb. 23 on his left knee in Germany.

The 29-year-old Russian won a seventh European title last week in Sheffield, England, to add to his Olympic gold from 2006 and three world championships.

He announced his plans for surgery on Twitter. He had already ruled himself out of the world championships that begin March 25 in Nice, France, so he can recover from the surgery.

Plushenko returned last year from a suspension imposed by the International Skating Union in June 2010 for taking part in exhibitions without approval of the governing body.

Plushenko aims to skate at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and bid for a medal at a fourth straight Games.