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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2Angers00000000
3Bastia00000000
4Bordeaux00000000
5Caen00000000
6Gazelec AjaccioGFC Ajaccio00000000
7GuingampGuingamp00000000
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9Lorient00000000
10Lyon00000000
11Marseille00000000
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13NantesNantes00000000
14Nice00000000
15Paris Saint-GermainPSG00000000
16Reims00000000
17Rennes00000000
18Saint-EtienneSt Etienne00000000
19Toulouse00000000
20Troyes00000000