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Tudor injury hits Croatia World Cup hopes


ZAGREB, May 7 (Reuters) - Croatia defender Igor Tudor has been ruled out of the World Cup finals after being told he must undergo surgery on his ankle, national coach Mirko Jozic said on Tuesday.

The loss of the 23-year-old Juventus player, a pivotal figure in the Croatian defence, is a serious blow to the country's hopes of making an impression in Japan and South Korea.

"Igor called me to say he was having problems and was going to be operated on in two or three days," Jozic told reporters ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Hungary.

"He was and is one of our key players. His absence means we have lost some 20 percent of our value. If we had some advantage over two of our World Cup rivals before, now I can no longer say that," Jozic said.

Tudor, a towering presence at 1.92m, has become an automatic choice in the Croatian national side, valued for his speed, clean tackling and threat going forward.

He picked up an ankle injury early in April but resumed playing two weeks ago as Juventus successfully chased the Serie A title in Italy.

Croatia face Ecuador, Mexico and Italy in Group G at the World Cup finals.
05/07/02 09:04 ET
 

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Isuse Boze :(
 

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Too much of a coinsidence if you ask me....take a look at both cases and how the doctors treated each one...4 years ago Boskic was playing on a bad knee in which the Lazio doctors said it wasn't that bad...well it needed major surgery....now look at Tudor...bad ankle, doctors said it was fine, Lippi calls Tudor a coward, he comes back to play, and once again...right before the WC is about to start, just as 4 years ago, another of our great players is out...

Just a thought...can you imagine Hrvatska 4 years ago with a front line of Suker and Boksic???
 

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speachless,

we are a small nation with a lot of talent, and this to happen. Lippi made a promise, but it seems that the health of his players is second.

Lippi is the coward, and so are the Italian doctors. This puts a black mark on their success.
 
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