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By ESPN Staff
Apr 11, 2006

Ukraine keeper Shovkovsky eyes first team return

KIEV, April 11 (Reuters) - Ukraine goalkeeper Oleksander Shovkovsky may return to first-team action on Wednesday after nearly three months out injured, boosting the national team's chances ahead of their first World Cup finals appearance.

Shovkovsky broke his collarbone during a friendly in January and played his first match since the injury for Dynamo Kiev's second team at the weekend.

'I didn't feel particularly nervous. I felt the same as I do before any game for Dynamo or the national team,' Shovkovsky told Dynamo Kiev's official Web site (www.fcdynamo.kiev.ua).

'It's vital for me to regain my confidence as quickly as possible. Training is one thing, but it doesn't compare with a match,' the 31-year-old goalkeeper said.

In a game watched by Ukraine's goalkeeping coach Yuri Romensky, Dynamo II defeated Boryspil Borysfen 2-1 in a second division game. The goal Shovkovsky conceded was a penalty.

'Rehabilitation after such a serious break is no small matter,' said Shovkovsky, who has more than 60 caps.

Kiev coach Anatoly Demyanenko has said Shovkovsky might play a part in the first team's Cup semi-final second leg against Karpaty Lviv on Wednesday. Dynamo won the first leg 2-0.

Ukraine are drawn with Spain, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia in the opening round of the month-long World Cup in Germany, which begins on June 9.