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Russia’s Fernandes avoids spinal injury after Euro 2020 fall

Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Russian defender Mario Fernandes was hospitalised Wednesday after suffering a back injury during a Euro 2020 match against Finland but avoided spinal damage, his team said.

The 30-year-old went up for a high ball in the Finland box in the first half and came down awkwardly, the back of his neck taking the full force of the landing.

The Brazilian-born CSKA Moscow player was carried 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 has been taken to a hospital in Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second city where the match was taking place.

“According to the results of the exam, Mario did not suffer a spinal injury,” the team said later on Wednesday, adding that Fernandes is flying back with his teammates to Moscow.

Fernandes’s injury is another blow to the team who have already lost veteran Yuri Zhirkov, who was injured during the 3-0 loss against Belgium on Saturday.

Another defender, Fyodor Kudryashov is yet to recover from an injury that he suffered during a pre-tournament friendly.

Winger Andrei Mostovoy was replaced in the squad last week after testing positive for coronavirus.

Russia claimed a 1-0 win over Finland in the Group B match between the two neighbours.

Their next match against Denmark will take place on Monday in Copenhagen.

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