(Reuters) – Russia holding midfielder Igor Denisov suffered a hamstring injury as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Serbia on Sunday and is expected to miss Euro 2016, said coach Leonid Slutskiy.
“Denisov has a serious injury and it’s likely we will need a replacement,” Slutskiy told reporters. “Now we are in touch with another player who plays in the same position.”
Russian media said Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Artur Yusupov is likely to be called up to replace Denisov in the 23-man squad with an official announcement expected on Monday.
Russia start their campaign against England on June 11 in Marseille and the Serbia game was their final warm-up.
Russia’s Artem Dzyuba scored in the 85th minute at the Stade Louis II in Monaco but Alexander Mitrovic equalized three minutes later for Serbia, who failed to qualify for the Euros.
Slutskiy kept faith with the attacking trio of Dzyuba, Fedor Smolov and Alexander Kokorin, who all started the 2-1 defeat by the Czech Republic last Wednesday.
Igor Akinfeev returned in goal, while 20-year-old Alexander Golovin was also given a chance in the center of midfield.
There were few chances for either side in what was a largely forgettable first half before Russia were hit by a major injury blow when 32-year-old Denisov, who plays for Dynamo Moscow, limped off during the second period.
Dzyuba scored after excellent work by Roman Shirokov and Kokorin but they three minutes later Mitrovic sprung the offside trap and found himself one-on-one with Akinfeev. The Newcastle United forward made no mistake as he scored to make it 1-1.
Russia and England are in Group B at Euro 2016 alongside Slovakia and Wales.
(Reporting by Dmitriy Rogovitskiy; Editing by Clare Lovell and Ken Ferris)