Russia player cleared of damage to vertebra at Euro 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russia defender Mario Fernandes was cleared of any damage to his vertebra after being taken to the hospital following a fall during a European Championship game against Finland on Wednesday.

The Brazilian-born right back was carried off on a stretcher in the 26th minute after a lengthy period of treatment on the field. He had jumped for a header and was unable to break his fall as he landed on his back.

Fernandes was wearing a yellow support device on his head and neck as he was carried off the field.

The Russian team said Fernandes was free to fly with the team to Moscow and will be kept under observation by medical staff ahead of the final group match against Denmark on Monday.

It will come as a relief for Russia, which has been hit by personnel problems before and during the tournament.

Veteran left back Yuri Zhirkov was ruled out of the rest of the tournament on Tuesday after injuring his thigh in the opening 3-0 loss to Belgium on Saturday, defender Fyodor Kudryashov has yet to play after he was injured in a warmup for a pre-tournament friendly, and winger Andrey Mostovoy was replaced in the squad last week after testing positive for the coronavirus.

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