Famed Russian figure skating coach Alexander Zhulin has suggested that Evgenia Medvedeva’s withdrawal from two season-opening Cup of Russia stages was dictated by her poor physical shape and unreadiness to fight for podium places.

Olympic silver medalist Zhulin praised the skater’s decision to return back to her former coach Eteri Tutberidze, but noted that if her results don’t improve, she might retire from professional sport.

Apparently, she is not ready to compete now. And together with her coach she decided that it’s better to skip events and not to demean herself,” Zhulin said.

This was the right decision to renew partnership with Tutberidze. She returned to her first coach who had taught her to skate. If she doesn’t succeed here, this would mean that her time has passed. This is her last attempt to return to elite sport,” he added.

A post shared by Evgenia Medvedevа (@jmedvedevaj) on Oct 8, 2020 at 6:19am PDT

On Thursday, Medvedeva withdrew from the second stage of the Cup of Russia citing spine injury. The skater said she took painkillers to help with full-time training, but it didn’t help a lot as her old injury was only aggravated.

Now, the athlete will undergo a medical check in a spine and neurosurgery hospital in Moscow.