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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AS MonacoMonaco20143360213945
2Nice20136134132145
3Paris Saint-GermainPSG20133439152442
4Lyon19111736221434
5GuingampGuingamp208662622430
6Marseille208662323030
7Rennes208482024-428
8Saint-EtienneSt Etienne206951917227
9Toulouse207582222026
10Bordeaux206862127-626
11NantesNantes207491426-1225
12Nancy206681523-824
13Montpellier HSCMontpellier205872932-323
14Lille2064101926-722
15Caen2063112335-1221
16Dijon204882730-320
17Bastia2055101724-720
18Angers2055101625-920
19Metz195591835-1720
20Lorient2053122339-1618
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