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Wladimir Klitschko likely out until 2010

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World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is likely out of the ring until 2010 following shoulder surgery, reports ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, putting the kibosh on a proposed December date with American contender Eddie Chambers.

[Manager Bernd] Boente said that Klitschko had "minor tendon surgery on his left shoulder six weeks ago." The injury had not previously been disclosed.

Klitschko (53-3, 47 KOs) injured the shoulder during his June 20 demolition of Ruslan Chagaev, who took a pounding and retired on his stool one second into the 10th round of their fight in Germany, Boente said.

"His rehab is going well, making good progress," Boente said.

Boente says a spring 2010 return is likely for Wladimir.

Rick Reeno spoke with Chambers' promoter, Dan Goossen, today, and Goossen is still confident that Klitschko-Chambers can happen, though he doesn't say if he intends to wait until next spring, or have Eddie fight someone in the interim to stay active. Chambers and Goossen have not decided yet about fighting again in 2009.

This also pushes back the long-awaited title shot of Alexander Povetkin, who beat Chambers in January 2008 to get his mandatory position to one of Klitschko's alphabet straps. Chambers earned his spot by beating Alexander Dimitrenko in July 2009.