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
TeamPGDPTS
1Paris Saint-Germain345682
2AS Monaco342872
3Lille341864
4Saint-Etienne341557
5Lyon341155
6Marseille341052
7Bordeaux34648
8Reims34-545
9Toulouse 34-645
10Bastia34-1344
11Nantes34-343
12Lorient34-442
13Rennes34039
14Montpellier HSC34-139
15Nice34-1039
16Evian TG34-1538
17Guingamp34-1035
18Sochaux34-2433
19Valenciennes34-2329
RAjaccio34-3020