FIFA World Cup: Croatian Doctor Plays Down Injury Talk

Ivo Ilicevic, Ivan Strinic and Niko Kranjcar had to give up their dream of making Croatia's 23-men FIFA World Cup squad due to injuries but team doctor Zoran Bahtijarevic said his staff could not have done anything to avoid injuries to the three players.

Updated: May 29, 2014 18:09 IST
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Zagreb: The Croatian medical staff is not worried about the injury situation in the national football team that was hit by a string of injuries ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

Ivo Ilicevic, Ivan Strinic and Niko Kranjcar had to give up their dream of making the 23-men World Cup squad due to injuries.

"In my 12 years with the national team, I saw similar things happen. At this stage of the training camp, this is nothing unusual," team doctor Zoran Bahtijarevic was quoted as saying by Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji on Wednesday.

"There was nothing we could do about injuries of those three players. We've cured Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren is recovering, Danijel Pranjic and Milan Badelj felt pain in their groins and will undergo the MRI tests. We have an agreement with coach Kovac that players stop practicing as soon as they feel any kind of pain or discomfort," Bahtijarevic said.

Pranjic and Badelj will undergo the MRI tests Thursday but Wednesday Pranjic was joking about his problems.

"I felt a little pain in my groin on the right side and I thought it was a wise decision to stop practicing because I already feel better. I will do the MRI test but I can tell you from my personal experience that this is just a case of tired muscles. The nation can be relieved," the 32-year old experienced midfielder said.

The situation with 25-year-old Milan Badelj is a bit serious but Bahtijarevic is optimistic.

"We'll have to wait for the results of the MRI test then we can talk about his future. Everything else would be fortune-telling," he concluded.

To avoid possible new injuries, Niko Kovac scheduled only one practice session on Wednesday. The Croatian team will stay in Austrian resort Bad Tatzmannsdorf until Friday when it will travel back to Croatia and Saturday play a friendly match against Mali in Osijek, the eastern city of Croatia.

After the match Kovac will announce his 23-member squad that will represent Croatia at the World Cup.

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