Kylian Mbappe is touch and go to play in Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League quarter-final.
The World Cup winner sprained his right ankle in PSG’s French Cup final victory over Saint-Etienne.
He fell victim to a horror tackle which sparked a mass brawl between the opponents – despite strict coronavirus protocols in place for the first major match in France since the start of the pandemic.
The 21-year-old left the pitch in tears and fearing for his short-term future after being hacked down in the 33 rd minute – his ankle landing awkwardly, twisted between both legs of the defender.
Now Mbappe faces a race against time to be fit for their meeting with Atalanta in 18 days.
PSG have confirmed Mbappe suffered a “sprained right ankle with significant ligament damage” and said a further update on the timeframe for his recovery would be provided on Tuesday.
Physios quoted in the French media have suggested this kind of injury normally keeps players out for around a fortnight, though it may take longer for them to regain full match fitness.
Club medics placed Mbappe’s leg in a brace and delayed their checks so that he could come out the sidelines with 15 minutes to go and take part in the subsequent trophy presentation.
PSG manager Thomas Tuchel admitted he was concerned about his star striker’s fitness.
Regardless of the length of the layoff, it appears he was right to worry, as Mbappe is guaranteed to miss the Ligue 1 champions’ French League Cup final against Lyon on Friday night.
The quick turnaround between rounds of the mini-tournament format for the conclusion of this year’s Champions League means Mbappe is also at risk of missing a possible semi-final.
Following their one-off tie against Italian underdogs Atalanta in Lisbon on 13 August, PSG will be hoping to take on either Leipzig or Atletico Madrid five days later on 18 August.