Doctors will check severity in a week

Updated: October 20, 2004, 3:09 PM ET

MOSCOW -- Former world champion Irina Slutskaya has suffered another setback to her preparations for a new figure skating season after injuring her knee in practice.

"Yesterday Irina just fell and hurt a knee ligament," Slutskaya's coach, Zhanna Gromova, told Reuters on Wednesday.

"We don't know how serious it is, but the doctors told her to rest for about a week and then they'll re-evaluate her again."

Slutskaya, who won the 2002 world title and also finished second behind American Sarah Hughes at the Salt Lake City Olympics that year, missed most of last season with various illnesses and injuries.

The Russian did not defend her women's title at the 2004 European championships in Budapest in January after being left out of the team. She recovered in time to compete at the world championships in Dortmund, Germany, two months later, but finished ninth.

Slutskaya, a 25-year-old Muscovite, also missed the 2003 worlds in Washington because her mother was seriously ill.

She is scheduled to return to competition at the Cup of China Grand Prix event in mid-November.

This month, Slutskaya said she had fully recovered from all her medical problems and was looking forward to a new season.

"I think finally I can say that I have nothing to hold me back, and I'm ready for a new challenge," she said at the time.

"I'm really looking forward to competing this season, especially at the world championships in Moscow, in front of many home fans."

Moscow will host the 2005 world championships for the first time in figure skating history. St. Petersburg was the host of the first edition of these championships in 1896.