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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TeamPGDPTS
1Paris Saint-Germain302759
2Lyon303358
3Marseille302957
4AS Monaco291453
5Saint-Etienne301352
6Bordeaux30148
7Montpellier HSC29745
8Lille30141
9Nantes30-640
10Guingamp30-939
11Rennes30-939
12Nice30-437
13Bastia30-437
14Caen30035
15Reims30-1435
16Evian TG30-1435
17Lorient30-734
18Toulouse30-1832
19Lens30-2025
20Metz30-2023