Croatia's Nikola Kalinic sent home from World Cup due to back injury

Croatia's Kalinic reportedly thrown out of World Cup squad

Croatia's Kalinic reportedly thrown out of World Cup squad

Croatia and AC Milan striker Nikola Kalinic is thought to have been sent home from the World Cup after reportedly refusing to come on as a substitute during the country's opening game win against Nigeria on Saturday.

The Croatian media outlet 24sata said on Monday morning that national coach Zlatko Dalic has taken the decision after Kalinic, who was named among the substitutes in Kaliningrad, declined to come on in the closing stages of the clash.

"During the Nigeria match, Kalinic was warming-up and should have come in the second half".

"I have calmly accepted that, and since I need my players fit and ready to play, I have [to make] this decision".

Kalinic started on the bench for the fourth successive worldwide match but was asked to enter the fray by boss Zlatko Dalic in the closing stages of the Group D clash in Kaliningrad. He did the same thing against Brazil and England, saying he wasn't ready, and for yesterday's training session too.

However, Dalic told a specially arranged news conference that Kalinic would depart Croatia's team base in Roschino but due to recurring back spasms, as opposed to any disciplinary issue.

Kalinic was a target for Everton last summer but preferred to stay in Serie A, according to Sky sources.

With Kalinic now believed to be gone, it means Croatia will have to continue their tournament with just 22 players.

Croatia are back in action against Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday.

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