Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic men's singles champion from Turin, seemed to either tweak his back or hip in the warmup, right before his short program skate.
Plushenko was expected to compete for a gold medal in men's singles based on his excellent performance this past weekend in the new team competition, an event that saw the host Russians beat Canada for gold.
Now the door is wide open for three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Ottawa, Ontario and Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu who beat Chan at the International Skating Union Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan this past year and had a better score than Chan in the short program of the team competition last Thursday.
The team competition was an exciting event, but may need to be re-evaluated prior to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Questions need to be raised if the ISU is expecting too much from the world's best figure skaters at the Olympic Winter Games by having them skate up to four times in a short period of time.