Borna Barisic has been given the all-clear to get his Euros back on track after fears he could miss the entire tournament with a back injury.
The Rangers star underwent an MRI scan on Monday morning after being a surprise absentee in Croatia’s opening clash with England.
Boss Zlatko Dalic revealed the left-back had suffered a flare-up of an old back injury which kept him out of the Wembley defeat and said it could see him miss the rest of the tournament.
But the scan results came back later on Monday and Barisic was given the thumbs-up to resume training later this week.
That means he could be in line for a return in Friday’s key Group D clash with Czech Republic at Hampden before the concluding game in the group against Scotland in Glasgow next Tuesday.
A Croatia spokesman said: “We got the update and situation is positive. The MRI did not show any serious injury, so he will be rested today and expected to make a quick recovery and join the team in full training soon.”
It’s a huge relief for the 28-year-old who only last month spoke of his excitement heading into his first major finals.
It’s also a major boost for Dalic with Barisic having made the left-back position his own for his country.
Dalic explained earlier on Monday: “Borna arrived to the camp and missed two training sessions because of a back injury he had previously with his club.
“He started working out again but unfortunately he’s not in the same shape as he was during the whole season.
“He did an MRI scan today so we will see exactly what the situation with him is over the next few days.
“It is a problem for us, especially against Scotland when he would be at home.
“We will have to see his results then we will know more about his status going forward.”
While Barisic keeps his fingers crossed for a speedy recovery ahead of the Czech encounter, the Croatians are looking to repair their Euro 2020 hopes after Sunday’s defeat at Wembley.
Dalic accepted his side posed too little threat to the Three Lions.
Focus now has switched to trying to grab second spot in the group.
But despite criticism the boss, who has seen his side win just two of their last 10 matches, remains optimistic.
He said: “Our expectations are different now, but we have to be realistic too because this isn’t the same team as 2018.
“We have played Belgium and England and neither of them have outplayed us.
“We didn’t play badly against England, they only had two shots on our goal but we were not dangerous enough going forward.
“We need to be more ambitious in attack.
“We are not thinking about the draw and knockout phase, we are only thinking about getting out of the group stage.
“We have to improve our play because the Czech Republic and Scotland won’t be easy games.
“I am an optimist, I can’t be pessimistic after losing 1-0 to England - one of the teams who are expected to do well.”