Yevgenia Medvedeva came back from a broken foot to an unfamiliar place – trailing at a figure skating competition.
The Russian, undefeated for more than two years, had a minor error – stumbling out of a double Axel landing – and is second to training partner Alina Zagitova by 1.7 points after the European Championships short program in Moscow.
Medvedeva is competing for the first time since November.
She withdrew from two December events – the Grand Prix Final and the Russian Championships – with the injury but is still expected to compete in the PyeongChang Olympics.
She was beaten in a program Thursday for the first time since Gracie Gold topped the 2016 World Championships short program.
Zagitova, the 15-year-old world junior champion, tallied 80.27 points, the third-best under a 14-year-old judging system. Medvedeva has the two highest scores, both set in 2017.
Italian Carolina Kostner, the Sochi Olympic bronze medalist, is third going into Saturday’s free skate (12:30 p.m. ET, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers).
Kostner, at her 14th European Championships, scored a personal-best 78.30 points.