Croatia defender Vedran Corluka a doubt for Ireland game with hamstring injury but player insists he will be ready

Full back could miss his nation's opener with the Boys in Green after pulling up in training
Croatia defender Vedran Corluka is a major doubt for Sunday’s Euro 2012 Group C opener with Ireland after suffering a hamstring injury during training yesterday.

However, the player has since stated that he will be ready to play for his country in the game which is on Sunday.

The full back limped away from the session after complaining of pain in his hamstring and is due to have a medical test to determine the extent of the injury. Corluka will see a specialist in Warsaw today to assess the extent of the damage to his hamstring.

"I felt a tightening in my muscle and I immediately stopped as a precaution. It's nothing like the injury I picked up in February, when I had a rupture on the same leg. I'm sure it's nothing more but muscle fatigue, but because shortly after leaving training, the tension [in the muscle] disappeared," said Corluka

The defender added: "I repeat, I am confident that I will be ready on Sunday for Ireland. Apart from the tension tension in my hamstring, I have been feeling great."

Coach Slaven Bilic, who ends his six-year stint in charge of Croatia at the end of the tournament, was optimistic that Corluka would recover in time for Sunday.

"It's not so bad. In the first half hour of training he felt a stretch in the hamstrings. We hope that all is okay. Today we will do a review and we will know more but based on the prognosis it shouldn't be anything serious," said the former Croatia international.

Corluka spent  the second half of last season on loan at Bayer Leverkusen and would be a loss to Croatia especially after the departure of striker Ivica Olic through injury earlier in the week.

The news comes just hours after Croatia received permission from Uefa to include 20-year-old Sime Vrsaljko instead of Ivo Ilicevic, who pulled his left calf muscle on the same day.

There was better news for Ireland's opponents, however, as star midfielder Luka Modric is believed to have fully recovered from a long club season with Tottenham. The coaching staff put him on a special recovery programme acknowledging that he was in need of a rest.

"He played every game when he was available, he was a bit tired," said Bilic. "He's ready to play his role, which is very important for us."