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Croatia playmaker Niko Kranjcar to miss World Cup in Brazil because of hamstring injury

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LONDON - Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjcar was ruled out of the World Cup in Brazil on Monday with a hamstring injury that will sideline him for up to six weeks.

The playmaker ruptured a muscle in his hamstring during Queens Park Rangers' 1-0 win over Derby in the second-tier League Championship playoff match at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Kranjcar is on loan at QPR from Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv.

Croatian national-team doctor Boris Nemec is quoted in a statement released by QPR as saying Kranjcar's "rupture is some inches wide and will need between four and six weeks to heal."

The 29-year-old was one of 12 midfielders included in Croatia's provisional 30-man squad named on May 14. He was expected to be in the final group of 23 players due to be announced by head coach Niko Kovac on Saturday.

Croatia plays the opening match of the World Cup, against Brazil on June 12. Mexico and Cameroon are the other teams in Group A.

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