Zenit Kazan outside hitter Wildredo Leon will miss at least the next 7-10 days in the Russian Championship after suffering an ankle injury last week.
On an otherwise innocuous hit in the team’s 10th-round game last week against Dinamo LO, Leon landed awkwardly under the net – initial speculation was that the injury could be to his Achilles’ tendon, which could leave him out for much, much longer. Zenit went on to win the match 3-0.
The 23-year old Leon is a rising superstar who has made headlines not only for his play on the court recently. Leon, born and raised in Cuba, obtained Polish citizenship on July 14th, 2015. He has yet to play a national team game for Poland since he and his countrymate Yoandri Diaz defected in 2013. Poland is eager to get him onto their national side, but Polish volleyball authorities claim that Cuban volleyball authorities are not responding to their requests.
See how the injury happened below:
Leon joined the Polish men’s national team at just 14 years old, named a captain at just 17, and was a part of two NORCECA Championship teams in 2009 and 2011, as well as Cuba’s silver-medal winning team at the 2010 World Championships. In 2012, he won a bronze medal in the World League, and defected shortly after.
Individually, he was named the Most Valuable Player of both the 2015 and 2016 CEV Champions Leagues, and the best outside hitter of the 2015 and 2016 FIVB Club World Championships. He also has MVP awards from the 2009 NORCECA Championships (shortly after his 17th birthday) and the 2011 Pan American Games on his resume.