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
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CParis Saint-GermainPSG372311380344680
2Lyon37219771333872
3AS MonacoMonaco371911750262468
4Marseille372061173423166
5Saint-EtienneSt Etienne371812749292066
6Bordeaux37161294543260
7Montpellier HSCMontpellier37168134537856
8Lille37158143941-253
9Rennes371311133541-650
10GuingampGuingamp37154184053-1349
11Bastia371211143743-647
12Nice37129164151-1045
13NantesNantes371112142939-1045
14Reims37128174563-1844
15Caen371110165153-243
16Lorient37127184449-543
17Toulouse37126194161-2042
REvian TGEvian37114223959-2037
RMetz3779213057-2730
RLens3768233161-3026