Eremenko out of worlds with knee injury; Nabokov available

Updated: May 5, 2008, 1:21 PM ET
Reuters

QUEBEC CITY -- Russian gold medal hopes at the ice hockey world championships were dealt a blow when netminder Alexander Eremenko was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury on Monday.

Eremenko, who plays for Salavat Yulayev Ufa in the Russian Superliga, was injured when he was pinned back awkwardly in a pileup in front of his goal during the second period of Russia's 5-4 win over the Czech Republic on Sunday.

Eremenko damaged his right ACL in the collision, the IIHF said on its Web site, leaving Mikhail Biryukov as the team's only goaltender.

Russia's medal chances could receive a significant boost if San Jose Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov answers the team's emergency call, however.

Nabokov became available for international duty on Sunday after the Sharks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Dallas Stars.