Evgeni Plushenko

Evgeni Plushenko, shown during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, has been selected by the Russian figure skating federation for its sole entry in the men's event in Sochi. (Jason Payne / Canwest News Service / MCT)

Three-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko will return to the Games as a discretionary choice for the Russian figure skating team.

Plushenko risked missing the 2014 Sochi Olympics after struggling with back surgery and finishing second in his country's recent national championships.

But on Wednesday, the Russian figure skating federation selected him for its sole entry in the men's event.

Plushenko, who won gold at the 2006 Winter Games, reportedly skated for judges behind closed doors earlier this week.

A statement on the federation's website said the full team will be submitted to the Russian Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sports for approval on Thursday.

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