|Ian Black has apologised for his tackle that put Nikica Jelavic out of football until next year. Black was shocked to learn his tackle caused so much damage and said: "I apologise for the fact that the tackle has put him out for a length of time. There was certainly no malice on my part - and NO intention to injure him. I knew he was getting away from me but he was just quicker than I expected when I tried to stop him. I accept it did look a bad tackle but that's because he was so quick. Unfortunately his speed meant I caught him more than I thought I would. I am disappointed for him. Hopefully he will be back sooner than expected."
Jelavic had to be substituted and now faces at least three months out after he underwent an ankle operation yesterday. It's a hammer blow for the Croat who was in a rich vein of form. A spokesman for the Croatia FA confirmed: "Niki underwent surgery under the supervision of Professor Boris Nemec, and begins the process of his recovery. A piece of torn cartilage was removed and he will be in cast for up to two weeks. The ankle should be at 50 per cent six weeks after surgery. We will continue to monitor his situation."