Updates from Wednesday, June 18
Luka Modric will play with a piece of sponge in his boot in order to help Croatia in their efforts to beat Cameroon.
Modric has a foot problem, but Aleksandar Holiga of Bleacher Report, ESPN FC and the Guardian reports the following:
Luka Modrić is fully fit, but says his foot hurts when he kicks the ball. That's why he'll play with a piece of spunge in his boot.— Aleksandar Holiga (@AlexHoliga) June 18, 2014
Updates from Sunday, June 15
Luka Modric spoke about his status after injuring his foot vs. Brazil (via Sky Sports):
“The area around my ankle is swollen and the pain is enormous,” he told Sportske Novosti.
“But nothing is broken and this is a good sign. Now I will have to do my therapy and I hope that I will be alright for Cameroon.
“The pain is the only problematic part for me but the pain will go away.”
Updates from Saturday, June 14
The Associated Press (via FOX Sports) reports an update on Modric's status:
Croatia playmaker Luka Modric is expected to be fit for the team's next World Cup match against Cameroon despite picking up a foot injury, team officials said Friday.
Marcus Christenson of The Guardian had bad news regarding Modric's status:
Luka Modric's World Cup could be over. La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that he will miss at least the next two games with injury #cro— Marcus Christenson (@m_christenson) June 14, 2014
However, the Croatian football federation reported conflicting information on the midfielder's status in a statement on Saturday:
During the World Cup opening match against Brazil, Luka Modric received a painful blow to his foot. Therefore, upon Croatia's arrival to Salvador, Modric and Croatian medical staff member Nemec stayed in hospital, while the rest of the team went back to the base camp Tivoli.
Modric's MRI proved that there is no fracture or ligament damage. It is expected that Modric, Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder, will recover during Saturday, the day off for Croatian players.
Afterwards, Modric should join his teammates in regular practice sessions.
Croatia's uphill battle to advance to the knockout stage at the 2014 World Cup just got a lot tougher.
Not only did the squad pick up a 3-1 loss to Brazil in the tournament's opening match, but star midfielder Luka Modric injured his foot in the process.
The Associated Press (via USA Today) provided the details:
Playmaker Luka Modric is a doubt for Croatia's next World Cup match against Cameroon after picking up a foot injury in his side's loss to Brazil in the tournament opener.
Croatia team officials said Friday that Modric was taken to a hospital in Salvador, near the squad's training base, to check the extent of his injury after feeling pain.
Aleksander Holiga of The Guardian had more detail:
Update on Modric: MRI shows not seriously injured, should return to training after tomorrow's rest. (via @HNS_CFF)— Aleksandar Holiga (@AlexHoliga) June 13, 2014
If Modric is unable to play against Cameroon, it could be devastating for Croatia. The Real Madrid midfielder is one of the most talented players on the squad, and he is the type of individual that makes everyone on the pitch better.
WhoScored.com provided a look at how good he was in the loss to Brazil:
The 28-year-old has also become a leader for this team. According to Sky Sports, he explained his confidence in his side before the first match, saying: "If we get past the group stage we could go a long way. Many Croatian players have improved massively as individuals since Euro 2012 but it is yet to be seen if we have progressed as a team."
While Croatia will get Mario Mandzukic back from suspension for the next match, losing Modric would make it extremely difficult to come away with a victory, even against Cameroon. This would put a damper on advancing past the group stage, with Mexico and Brazil each already having three points.
The European squad will need to hope that Modric can not only return to action, but also find a way to contribute at a high level despite the injury.
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