Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjcar will miss next month’s Fifa World Cup in Brazil because of an injury to his leg.
The 29-year-old picked up a hamstring injury while playing for Premier League returnees Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in their 1-0 Championship play-off win over Derby County at Wembley on Saturday.
The midfielder, who has been capped 81 times by Croatia, becomes the third player to withdraw from the country’s World Cup squad due to injury.
FC Dnipro defender Ivan Strinic and Hamburger SV midfielder Ivo Ilicevic were also forced to withdraw from Niko Kovac’s squad.
“I’m extremely sorry for Niko- he is one of the most experienced players in our squad and he deserved to be part of it in Brazil,” said Kovac.
“I needed Niko with his experience and good shape bu we have ton go on.”
Croatia are drawn in Group A alongside Brazil, Cameroon and Mexico.
“Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar will miss the World Cup due to hamstring injury,” a message on the Croatian Football Federation Twitter feed read.