Lokomotiv Moscow coach Slaven Bilic refuted reports Wednesday that defender Vedran Corluka has chronic injuries that prevent him playing more than one match per week.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man was substituted after 81 minutes of Croatia’s 1-0 win over Macedonia with an Achilles injury earlier this month and spent the next qualifier against Belgium on the bench.
But he returned to the Lokomotiv side to get an assist in the game's only goal against Rubin Kazan last week.
Asked if Corluka had serious issues that prevented him playing frequently, as reported by Croatian media, Bilic said: "We knew nothing about it. Corluka’s health problems are completely solvable."
"This is not a problem that will haunt him until the end of his career. He just isn’t rested enough and hasn’t completely recovered from an injury he picked at the end of the season."
Bilic said his 26-year-old compatriot plays a leading role in the team.
“We will try to hold out until December, then he should rest and fully heal the damage. ... So by the spring part of the championship, he will be fully fit," Bilic said.
Corluka joined Lokomotiv from Spurs in June and has played all eight games for the Moscow team this season, scoring once.
Lokomotiv are fifth in the table with 16 points.