Soccer-Serbia's Kostic out of Euros due to knee injury

Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group C - Serbia v England - Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany - June 16, 2024 Serbia's Filip Kostic reacts REUTERS/John Sibley

(Reuters) -Serbia's Filip Kostic will return home from the European Championship after the wing back injured a knee ligament in the team's 1-0 defeat by England, the team said on Tuesday, in a blow to their hopes of reaching the last 16.

Kostic was forced off in the 43rd minute after a challenge with England midfielder Jude Bellingham and the team doctor confirmed the 31-year-old would need at least two weeks of recovery.

The Juventus player, one of the Serbian squad's most experienced players with 64 caps, had a scan on his knee on Tuesday and the doctor confirmed he had suffered a partial lesion of the lateral collateral ligament.

Although Kostic does not require surgery, he cannot train or compete at the required level, the doctor added.

Kostic will stay with the squad and watch their second group game against Slovenia from the sidelines before leaving the national team and returning home for treatment and recovery.

Serbia are bottom of the group. They play Slovenia on Thursday at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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