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Niko Kranjcar to miss World Cup

Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjcar has been ruled out of the World Cup through injury.

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Kranjcar, 29, was substituted during the first half of Queens Park Rangers' Championship playoff final victory over Derby County at Wembley on Sunday, and a subsequent MRI scan revealed a hamstring injury.

That means he is expected to be ruled out for between four and six weeks, and the Croatian Football Federation confirmed that he will play no part in Brazil.

National team doctor Boris Nemec told Croatian newspaper Jutarnji list: "Niko Kranjcar has ruptured his hamstring.

"The rupture is some inches wide, and it will need between four and six weeks to heal."

"I feel extremely sorry for Niko, as do all his teammates," Croatia boss Niko Kovac said. "We know how difficult this must be for him, since the World Cup in Brazil is once-in-a-lifetime event.

"Niko has made his contribution in the qualifying campaign, and is also one of the most experienced internationals. He deserved to be in Brazil. I wish him a speedy recovery, and now we have to figure out the best possible solutions."

Kranjcar has made 81 appearances for Croatia, scoring 16 goals.

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