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
CParis Saint-GermainPSG383062102198396
2Lyon381981167432465
3AS MonacoMonaco38171475750765
4Nice381891158411763
5Lille381515839271260
6Saint-EtienneSt Etienne38177144237558
7Caen38166163952-1354
8Rennes381313125254-252
9Angers381311144038250
10Bastia38148163642-650
11Bordeaux381214125057-750
12Montpellier HSCMontpellier38147174947249
13Marseille381018104842648
14NantesNantes381212143344-1148
15Lorient381113144758-1146
16GuingampGuingamp381111164756-944
17Toulouse38913164555-1040
RReims38109194457-1339
RGazelec AjaccioGFC Ajaccio38813173758-2137
RTroyes3839262883-5518