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
1Nice16123130102039
2AS MonacoMonaco16113249163336
3Paris Saint-GermainPSG16112330111935
4Rennes168351819-127
5GuingampGuingamp167542115626
6Lyon1581628181025
7Bordeaux166642018224
8Toulouse166461816222
9Saint-EtienneSt Etienne165741614222
10Marseille165651617-121
11Angers165471518-319
12Montpellier HSCMontpellier164752328-519
13Metz155371628-1218
14Lille165291521-617
15Dijon163762225-316
16Nancy164481122-1116
17Caen164391630-1415
18Bastia163581220-814
19NantesNantes16349926-1713
20Lorient1633101629-1312