Plushenko had a very rare procedure done. That has to take first mention in any review of his potential to even get competitive again. He talks about ballet dancers doing fine after having a disc replaced but this is so different. I believe in a quad you land with 4 times your body weight? Now one of his biological discs had totally degenerated. But who knows what this artificial one will be like after a skater attempts any kind of jump? The ballet dancers who have had it and do well is something to compare it but not like figure skating jump! He's a walking experiment! He really didn't want to have this done before Sochi at all. If its a good disc and works well and everything else holds up, he has a long list of previous ailments, it's not like he doesn't have good technique and isn't a good competitor! You almost have to erase all previous attempts at competition now in some ways. Even recent stuff like Russian nationals 2013 where he did 3A and quads and generally did well, like Euros 2012 too. He can't really do anything until June. Then this experiment with artificial discs and figure skating jumps will be tested.
I doubt Plushenko will win again.. he might be on the podium but that's if he's lucky