Slaven Bilić has suffered a setback in his planning for UEFA EURO 2012 with forward Ivica Olić ruled out of the competition because of a hamstring injury, forcing the Croatia coach to turn to Nikola Kalinić as a replacement.
Olić suffered the injury after taking the field as a half-time substitute in Saturday's friendly in Norway. He lasted only 26 minutes before leaving the action and although there were initial hopes he might still be fit for the EURO, tests in Munich confirmed he had suffered a hamstring tear.
"Medical tests surprisingly showed a rupture and partial tear of the muscle and his recovery is going to take from four to six weeks," said the Croatia team doctor, Zoran Bahtijarevic, who accompanied Olić to Munich.
"I've received 15 injections in my back, everything is hurting me," Olić said. "I didn't expect to hear such bad news, but a medical exam showed that I've got a rupture. In the best case scenario I would be ready to come back in about two, two-and-a-half weeks, but that's too late for EURO. I will watch it on TV and be a Croatia fan.
"At first I thought it would be only five or six days out. It's not a serious injury, but if it had just happened ten days ago, then I would hope that I could play at EURO."
Olić, who will leave FC Bayern München for VfL Wolfsburg this summer, only appeared in five qualifying appearances but brought considerable experience to the squad, as a survivor of Croatia's 2002 FIFA World Cup campaign.
Kalinić, whose inclusion is subject to UEFA approval, has scored five goals in 13 appearances for Croatia, including two in six in their qualifying campaign for Poland and Ukraine. He spent the 2011/12 season with Ukrainian club FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk after departing English side Blackburn Rovers FC last summer.
It was not all bad news for Bilić who confirmed that Luka Modrić, who had been suffering with a dose of flu, and Vedran Ćorluka, who had a knock, were both on the mend. "They are both feeling better now and all others are healthy and fit," he said.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.