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
Read Next:
Cvitanich out for "two to three weeks"
>
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CParis Saint-GermainPSG35285293187589
2Lyon361881060382262
3AS MonacoMonaco361614654441062
4Saint-EtienneSt Etienne36177124234858
5Nice361691153391457
6Lille361414838271156
7Rennes361313105150152
8Angers361311123834450
9NantesNantes361212123238-648
10Caen36146163651-1548
11Montpellier HSCMontpellier36137164745246
12Bordeaux351113114655-946
13Marseille36917104641544
14Bastia36128163341-844
15GuingampGuingamp361110154553-843
16Lorient361013134655-943
17Gazelec AjaccioGFC Ajaccio36813153753-1637
18Reims3699184055-1536
19Toulouse36713164153-1234
RTroyes3638252781-5417