According to Real Madrid’s club doctors, midfielder Luka Modric sustained a torn left proximal rectus femoris tendon (the tendon to the top of the muscle near his hip) and will be out of action for between three and four months.

The setback occurred during Croatia’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy yesterday. Modric had to come off in the 26th minute of the match; which ended in a draw and was marred by Croatian fans throwing flares onto the pitch.

Modric landed at Madrid-Barajas airport midday on Monday and went directly to the Sanitas La Moraleja clinic where he was examined by club doctors. It was soon determined that the 29-year-old will likely miss between 12 and 16 weeks of first-team action and will not return to play until February 2015.

While awaiting the final diagnosis from Real Madrid’s medical staff, Modric explained what happened during the match against Italy and expressed his disappointment at the unfortunate turn of events.

“I felt a very strong pain in the upper part of my thigh. It still hurts. It is a shame, but football is like that,” the Real Madrid midfielder told the Spanish press.

His absence will open up first-team opportunities for Sami Khedira and Asier Illarramendi. Speculation is that manager Carlo Ancelotto may also choose to play Isco in a deeper role, since the Italian boss hinted of that potential move prior to the international break.