Bulgaria’s most important player, Elitsa Vasileva, has gone through surgery in her right shoulder on March 21 to recover from an injury suffered in the Russian Superliga Playoffs. She has been already ruled out of the FIVB Nations League and knows that as of right now, chances of her helping the Bulgarian national team in the 2018 FIVB WCH are slim. She recently spoke about her recovery and her hopes for the future with the Bulgarian squad (Fivb.com):
“Realistically, my chances to play at the World Championship this fall are at 50 per cent right now. It will all depend on how my shoulder responds to the process of recovery. It is one thing to be able to start using my shoulder, and a completely different thing to be able to get into the needed shape. Of course, I will start working on my physical form early enough to be ready, while the shoulder is still healing. I will do my best to play at this World Championship or at least be part of the squad and help out one way or another.
I expect that under the new coach Ivan Petkov this season will be very different for us. In terms of preparation and organization, I know everything will be at a very high professional level, and it’s a shame that I will skip a big part of this new beginning. I am not thinking about the next club season just yet. For me, my speedy recovery is the top priority right now.”
The FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship will be held in Japan from September 28 through October 20. In the first stage of the tournament, Bulgaria, which is currently ranked 17th in FIVB’s senior rankings, will take on Canada, China, Cuba, Italy and Turkey. If the team does not have Vasileva in it, then everything will become even harder for the club to make it out of the pool round.