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
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Nice7520124817
2AS MonacoMonaco7511159616
3Toulouse7421115614
4Paris Saint-GermainPSG7412156913
5Bordeaux7412118313
6Metz741298113
7Saint-EtienneSt Etienne7331106412
8GuingampGuingamp732297211
9Lyon7313139410
10Bastia731365110
11Rennes7313810-210
12Angers730478-19
13Marseille72239908
14Dijon7214810-27
15Caen7214614-87
16Montpellier HSCMontpellier7133612-66
17Lorient7205411-76
18NantesNantes712438-55
19Nancy712439-65
20Lille7115714-74