Bosko Balaban has been called up for Croatia’s EURO 2004 Group 8 qualifiers against Belgium on 29 March and Andorra on 2 April after team-mate Ivica Olic broke his cheekbone at the weekend.
Olic was injured during Dinamo Zagreb’s 1-0 win at NK Kamen Ingrad Velika and could be out of action for four to six weeks.
“I deemed Olic one of the most important players for my game plan against Belgium,” said Croatia coach Otto Baric.
“This is a very serious blow and I hope he will be back soon.”
Balaban, who is on loan with Dinamo after a disappointing spell with Aston Villa, has scored 6 goals in 4 internaionals.
Meanwhile, midfielder Niko Kovac is expected to play against Belgium despite picking up a facial injury in Bayern Munich’s 1-0 victory over Hansa Rostock.
“I was relieved when I got news from Munich that Niko Kovac had not broken his nose, but just badly bruised it,” Baric said.
“As it stands, he will be able to play.”