• Euro 2012

France 'not optimistic' over M'Vila

ESPN staff
June 8, 2012
Injury doubts for France

France are "not optimistic" that Yann M'Vila will recover in time for their European Championship opener against England in Donetsk.

However, fellow midfielders Blaise Matuidi and Alou Diarra are both in line for a return to action in time for Monday night's Group D clash.

M'Vila, who has been linked with Arsenal already this summer, has faced a fitness battle since turning his ankle in a friendly against Serbia on May 31. Team doctor Fabrice Bryand believes the Rennes star is set to miss out against England.

"His progress is good but we do not want to aggravate the injury," Bryand told French sports daily L'Equipe. "We are not optimistic for the 11th.

"We will increase his workload and see if his ankle swells again or if he suffers any ill effects. We will pay close attention to the player's recovery."

M'Vila has emerged as a key player in France's squad, but Les Bleus would have faced a midfield crisis were it not for the improvement in the condition of Matuidi and Diarra after their hamstring and knee complaints respectively.

Bryand admitted Marseille midfielder Diarra "gave us a big scare" after reporting pain in his knee, but his recovery "is going well".

He added: "Yesterday, we did not take any risks because we were training on a synthetic pitch, but he was initially going to train."

On Paris St Germain's Matuidi, Bryand added: "His progress is very satisfactory. He has started a special program and we will accelerate that and bring him back gradually."

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