CSKA Moscow announced on Saturday that injured forward Andrei Kirilenko will rejoin the team on January 3 after missing six weeks with injury and deciding to activate his option to stay with the Russian champions through the rest of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season. Kirilenko (30 years old, 2.06 meters) was the Euroleague's top performer until he suffered a broken nose, concussion and shoulder injury halway through the regular season. Kirilenko, who had played three seasons for CSKA until age 20, returned to the club last summer. His contract with CSKA gave him the option to leave before the start of the Top 16. Kirilenko was named the bwin MVP for October and was bwin MVP of the week twice in the first five games while averaging 13.8 points, 9 rebounds, 3.4 assists. 2.2 steals and 3.2 blocks. He was leading the Euroleague in both rebounds and blocks when he suffered a freak fall in a Russian League game in November. CSKA went on to become just the third team since 2000 to complete an undefeated Now, Kirilenko is due to rejoin CSKA starting January 3.
"We developed great team chemistry and were a real team in the first part of the season: It would be incorrect to stop halfway," Kirilenko said in a statement. "It would be unfair toward my teammates and, more importantly, toward the fans. I know how many people count on me. To play for CSKA is a great pleasure and fun, and I will do my best to win all the tournaments we are participating in. I am thankful to club's management for patience in my difficult situation. Thank you very much to all the fans for their support!