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-Germain141830
2Marseille131528
3Lyon131626
4Bordeaux13524
5Nantes13423
6Saint-Etienne13122
7AS Monaco13119
8Rennes13119
9Metz14-318
10Reims13-718
11Toulouse13017
12Nice13-217
13Montpellier HSC13-217
14Lille13-316
15Bastia13-613
16Evian TG13-1013
17Caen13-212
18Guingamp13-1412
19Lens13-511
20Lorient13-710