Claude Puel: Neal Maupay injury "bitter blow"

Nice coach Claude Puel gestures to his players on the touchline on December 1, 2012
© PA Photos
Claude Puel admits that Neal Maupay's impending surgery is a blow to the player and his club Nice.

Nice coach Claude Puel has admitted that the injury to Neal Maupay is a "bitter blow" to his side's chances for the rest of the season.

Puel's side are in a battle for the top three in Ligue 1, but will now have to do so without 16-year-old sensation Maupay, who is undergoing surgery on Wednesday for a ruptured cruciate ligament.

"It's a bitter blow for Neal and for us as we needed everybody for the final few matches of the season," Ligue1.com quotes Puel as saying.

"The injury didn't seem serious and he carried on playing before going off.

"We've tried to protect him in terms of his amount of game time and the media pressure. At least now he'll be able to prepare for his school exams in peace."

Nice are currently fifth but are just two points behind third-placed Lyon.

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Tables
TeamPGDPTS
1Lyon212845
2Marseille222044
3Paris Saint-Germain211941
4Saint-Etienne211140
5AS Monaco22739
6Montpellier HSC22835
7Bordeaux22-233
8Nice22-131
9Nantes22-331
10Rennes21-330
11Reims21-928
12Guingamp22-928
13Lille22-227
14Bastia22-523
15Lorient22-723
16Toulouse21-1022
17Metz21-1120
18Evian TG21-1520
19Lens21-819
20Caen21-818