Kovač named a squad of 30 and the most noticeable emission was that of Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić.
“I spoke with Luka today and simply he is not even ready to train yet, let alone play. Of course it is a great shame that he can’t be with us, but we have always said that his health is the most important and there is no point risking it,” said Kovač.
Croatia squad for Gibraltar & Italy
Keepers: Danijel Subašić (Monaco), Lovre Kalinić (Hajduk), Ivan Vargić (Rijeka)
Defenders: Vedran Ćorluka (Lokomotiv), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer), Marin Leovac (Rijeka), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Danijel Pranjić (Panathinaikos), Gordon Schildenfeld (Panathinaikos), Darijo Srna (Šahtar), Ivan Tomečak (Rijeka), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kijev), Šime Vrsaljko (Sassuolo)
Midfielders: Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozović (Inter Milano), Alen Halilović (Barcelona B), Mato Jajalo (Palermo), Mateo Kovačić (Inter Milano), Mario Pašalić (Elche), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Marko Rog (Split)
Strikers: Nikola Kalinić (Dnipro), Andrej Kramarić (Leicester City), Mario Mandžukić (Atletico), Ivica Olić (HSV), Ivan Perišić (Wolfsburg), Marko Pjaca (Dinamo), Ante Rebić (Leipzig), Anas Sharbini (Rijeka), Mario Šitum (Spezia).
Croatia face Gibraltar in Varaždin in a friendly on 7 June, before taking on Italy in Split in a Euro 2016 qualifier on 12 June.
(photo / Drago Sopta HNS)