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Harijs Vitolins speaks before playing Spartak

SpartakHarijs VitolinsSKA - Spartak - 021117
HC SKA press-service

- How is Roman Rukavishnikov?

- He has a cut to the achilles, his muscle is torn. He will need time to recover. I think that he will return in three months. First of all, he has to be in a cast before he can train. No one knows how long this will take.

- In what condition are Anton Belov and Artyom Zub?

- It's hard to say at the moment, they are recovering. Artyom Zub will probably return in a month, he should be back in December. Anton Belov is recovering.

- Because of these injuries, are SKA lacking defensemen?

- Maybe, but all of the guys want to play. We were playing with six defensemen for each game, eight are left. It looks like we are lacking defensemen, but it's a chance for the players to get ice time. Those who didn't play can impress us. Everyone should try hard.

- How is Pavel Datsyuk?

- He needs time. Any knee which is prone to injury needs to be looked after. He didn't get a serious injury, he's just resting in order to play longer in the future. It's hard to say when he should be training in the gym again, but nothing serious has happened. We don't want him to get injured before the important games.

Harijs Vitolins speaks before playing Spartak

- Arthroscopy is a complicated operation, players have to be on crutches for a while.

- It's not complicated. There are two holes there, the knee is cleaned and the excess is removed. However, they do have to be on crutches for a while.

- After the match against Dinamo Riga, Ilya Kovalchuk stated that it was one of SKA's worst performances. Why have you made changes to the line-up?

- We need to revert back to the game plan. It seemed that we could beat any team, but changes to the team remind the players that no one is guaranteed a place on the roster. We are a high quality team, the players should be able to compete in any line.

- Are you bored of playing against Spartak Moscow?

- This is the third time we have played together in a short space of time, but these things happen. Last year, we played friendly games against them when the national team were playing. Never mind.

- What do you think about Vadim Shipachyov's possible return to Russia?

- I like to comment on things when I know about the topic, not just from reading rumours. When Vadim comes back to Russia, we can say something. Let's be patient and see what he decides. People will support him whether he stays or goes.

- Would you like to work with him in SKA or the national team again?

- We have seen his level, you have to use his talents in the right way. When something becomes clear, we can talk.

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