Steven Gerrard is sure to be breathing a sigh of relief after the latest round of international fixtures.
That’s because one of his most injury-prone players, Borna Barisic, appears to have emerged unscathed.
He played 90 minutes at the weekend, helping keep Gareth Bale at bay in a win over Wales.
He impressed plenty of fans with his display, but, perhaps mindful of the debacle back in March, his coach, Zlatko Dalic, then opted to rest the left-back on Tuesday evening.
Barisic was an unused substitute as a weakened Croatia side went down 2-1 in a friendly against Tunisia.
That may not have been an ideal result for the hosts, but at least for Gerrard, his man was out of the firing line.
The last time Barisic was on international duty, he picked up a muscle injury away against Hungary. It ruled him out for several weeks (including an Old Firm fixture) and he subsequently lost his place to Jon Flanagan. As a result, he only turned out once more before the end of the SPL season, in the final day defeat at Kilmarnock.
Back then, Steven Gerrard criticised the Croatian FA and Barisic for the handling of the injury [
Daily Record]. However, there should be no such cause for hostility this time around.
With club training resuming next week, it would be great to have Barisic fit and raring to go.
If he can get a full pre-season under his belt, hopefully, he can put a disappointing first season behind him and show his quality in 2019/20.