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 By Ben Gladwell

Juventus' Marko Pjaca tears anterior cruciate ligaments playing for Croatia

Juventus will be without forward Marko Pjaca for the rest of the season after the Croatia international tore his anterior cruciate ligaments while on international duty.

Pjaca, 21, was carried off on a stretcher after twisting his knee badly when he got his foot caught in the pitch during Croatia's 3-0 friendly defeat against Estonia.

Tests conducted by the Croatian Football Federation on Wednesday morning confirmed the injury.

Compatriot Ivan Perisic, who plays for Juve's rivals Inter Milan, said in a postmatch interview that he hopes Pjaca recovers quickly "but it's got to be serious and this is worse than our defeat."

Perisic blamed the state of the pitch for the injury, which is the second one Pjaca has picked up while on international duty since becoming a Juve player last summer.

Marko Pjaca joined Juventus from Dinamo Zagreb in 2016.

In October, he injured his fibula while preparing for Croatia's World Cup qualifiers against Kosovo and Finland. He missed over two months, including nine Serie A games, and has been limited to just 14 appearances for the Bianconeri in the league this season.

Pjaca is due back in Turin on Wednesday afternoon, where he will commence work on his recovery. His Juve teammate Claudio Marchisio has wished him well, saying he will come back even stronger.

"We are all close to you, Marko Pjaca," Marchisio posted on his official Twitter account. "You will come back with a bang to show off all of your talent! Come on!"

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.


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