New AC Milan signing Ivan Strinic will step away from professional football for an indeterminate period after a heart problem was detected in the defender.
Strinic, 31, moved to San Siro over the summer on a free transfer after playing a key role in Croatia’s march to the World Cup final.
The full-back started six of his nation’s seven games in Russia, as they ultimately missed out on the big prize after a 4-2 defeat to France in the decider.
He was expected to form a big part of Milan’s plans for the upcoming season, joining fellow new faces such as Gonzalo Higuain, Mattia Caldara, Nikola Kalinic and Pepe Reina at the Rossoneri.
But a routine physical carried out this week has put his career in jeopardy after he was diagnosed with a heart condition.
“AC Milan inform that during routine medical tests, carried out on all professional athletes in Italy, it was found that Ivan Strinic suffers from the beginnings of hypertrophy in the cardiac muscle which will need further tests following a rest period,” the club confirmed in a statement published on Milan’s official website.
“The player must therefore suspend temporarily all competitive sporting activity until the follow-up exams have been completed.”
Strinic began his career with Croatia’s Hadjuk Split, and previously enjoyed spells in France and Ukraine before joining Milan’s Serie A rivals Napoli in 2015.
The left-back played for Sampdoria during the 2017-18 season, before signing a three-year deal with Milan this summer, and has to date made 49 appearances for his national team.