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.

Nice player Dario Cvitanich on November 11, 2012
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AS MonacoMonaco26185376245259
2Nice26168242202256
3Paris Saint-GermainPSG25174450183255
4Lyon241311045291640
5Saint-EtienneSt Etienne25109630191139
6Marseille2611693531439
7Bordeaux259972931-236
8GuingampGuingamp259793030034
9Toulouse2596103128333
10Rennes268992531-633
11Angers2686122233-1130
12NantesNantes2586111934-1530
13Metz2586112544-1930
14Montpellier HSCMontpellier2578103642-629
15Lille2685132432-829
16Dijon2569103437-327
17Nancy2576121733-1627
18Caen2574142543-1825
19Bastia2558122233-1123
20Lorient2664162752-2522
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