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
1Marseille111625
2Paris Saint-Germain111421
3Lyon111220
4Saint-Etienne11120
5Nantes11319
6Bordeaux11318
7Nice11117
8AS Monaco11117
9Rennes11015
10Metz11015
11Lille11-115
12Toulouse11-214
13Montpellier HSC11-214
14Reims11-914
15Caen11012
16Lens11-311
17Lorient11-510
18Bastia11-710
19Evian TG11-910
20Guingamp11-139