Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is responsible for Luka Modric's latest injury setback, Croatian national team doctor Boris Nemec has claimed.
It occurred just weeks after the 29-year-old had returned to action from a four-month absence with a hamstring problem, and Nemec told Nova TV that Ancelotti was at fault.
"Ancelotti did not spare Luka at all after he returned from a long-term injury," he said in quotes reported by AS. "He played 90 minutes in every game. Ancelotti put Modric under a lot of pressure, instead of giving him minutes bit by bit.
"Modric was not injured because of the knocks he received but because he was not 100 percent fit. If he hadn't been overworked, his lower leg would not to move to the side under that tackle."
Croatia boss Niko Kovac had also blamed Ancelotti after Modric sustained his hamstring injury while representing his country in November, telling Goal.com Croatia in December: "This injury was produced by the big number of games he has played."
However, Kovac was less critical of Madrid upon hearing of his latest setback despite the possibility that the player will not be fully fit for June's Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy in Zagreb.
"I spoke to Luka and wished him a quick and positive recovery," Kovac told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti. "Clearly it's not easy. He is injured again having just got back to an adequate rhythm.
"We've seen in the last month how important he is for Madrid. Moreover, we know what Luka represents for our national side."
He added: "Injuries are part of football. Modric is a great worker and no doubt he will do the maximum, like the fine professional he is.
"My hope is that he will have recovered for the game we have against Italy on June 12. Of course we won't force anything as Luka's health is the most important thing."
Meanwhile, Spanish newspaper Marca has reported that Modric's knee injury may not be as serious as suggested and that he could be back in action within three weeks.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report