Real Madrid's Luka Modric called up for Croatia squad

The Real Madrid midfielder hasn't played in over a month but has been called up by Ante Cacic despite the club's reluctance to release him
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Croatia coach Ante Cacic has provided Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane with another headache after calling up Luka Modric for Croatia’s World Cup qualifier against Iceland and a friendly against Northern Ireland.

No action for a month

Modric underwent arthroscopic surgery to correct a knee problem on October 2 and hasn’t featured for his club since then. However, the midfielder has rejoined full training this week and could be included in the Real Madrid squad for the match against Leganés at the Bernabéu on Sunday.

"Modric can play against Iceland"

Cacic said a few days ago that “Modric can play against Iceland on the 12th”, which did not go down terribly well at the Bernabéu, where the player is a key figure in the side and has been sorely missed during his absence.

“I’m not going to comment on what Cacic said,” Zidane said. “I have the information from our doctors and he’s not ready yet, he is still recovering. Next week will be very important for that.”

Modric picked up his knee injury against Espanyol on September 18 and although he was able to play against Las Palmas and Borussia Dortmund in some discomfort, the club’s medical staff decided he should undergo the procedure after detecting a chondral problem in his left knee.

Modric needed for Calderón derby

Croatia’s decision to call Modric up will cause plenty of concern at the club, where having the midfield maestro fully fit for the derby against Atlético in the Calderón on November 19 is the main priority.