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Croatia’s Bilic Undergoes Successful Hip Surgery

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ZAGREB: Croatia coach Slaven Bilic underwent successful hip surgery on Monday, a legacy of the wear and tear from his 14-year playing career, the national football federation (HNS) said.

The 43-year-old, who has been national coach since August 2006 and will lead Croatia into the Euro 2012 finals this summer, underwent the surgery to repair damaged cartilage at a private clinic in the northern port of Rijeka.

His rehabilitation will take about a month, but he is expected to be back on the bench when Croatia face Sweden in a friendly international on February 29. Bilic is no stranger to hip pain having famously played with the injury during the 1998 World Cup.

Croatia have been drawn in Group C at the Euro 2012 finals, which take place in Poland and Ukraine from June 8 until July 1, along with defending champions Spain, Italy and Ireland