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Bolshoi Chief Will Recover Enough Sight to Work Again, Doctor Says

The Bolshoi Theater ballet’s artistic director, who has been hospitalized since an attacker threw acid in his face, will recover enough eyesight to return to work, a doctor said Thursday.

Sergei Filin, 42, head of the world-famous theater’s ballet for nearly two years, was attacked outside his house on his way home from the theater Jan. 18.

Russia’s top eye doctor played down fears that the director would be blinded and never be able to work again, assessing his condition as moderately severe.

“He has acid burns in both eyes, more severe burns in the right eye, lighter on the left side,” said Vladimir Neroyev, who took part in some of Filin’s four eye operations — two on each eye — since the attack.

Neroyev said that it was too early to say how bad the damage would be but that the former ballet dancer would retain at least some eyesight in each eye.

“I think in any case he will be fully fit for work,” Neroyev said.

But Filin faces at least a year of medical treatment and rehabilitation, with his next surgery planned for Monday.

The Bolshoi Theater has seen many power struggles among dancers and directors, but the acid attack is thought to be among the most serious in its 200-year history.

Filin has said he had been receiving threats for more than a month before the attack. Dancers and administrators have suggested envy or resentment as a possible motive since Filin’s job gave him the power to make or break careers.

Russia’s top specialists are treating Filin in Moscow, Neroyev said, but he may travel abroad for further treatment.

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