on Wednesday was marred somewhat when it emerged postgame that Kylian Mbappe took a blow to his ankle. Although the France international carried on and finished the game which saw him open the scoring with his 30th goal of the season across all competitions, his last 20 minutes were uncomfortable.
Lillian Brassier was sent off after 69 minutes for a second booking in the space of less than 10 minutes and closer examination showed that the French defender caught Mbappe’s ankle. Although the PSG man was back on his feet and able to play on for the remainder of the game, he was clearly in some discomfort and immediately left the Parc des Princes field at full time.
Mbappe underwent immediate tests in the Parisien locker room which were reassuring less than one week out from the return of UEFA Champions League action and a round of 16 clash with Real Sociedad. PSG now have the results of those tests and the France captain is unlikely to miss Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash with Lille OSC in Paris despite training indoors on Friday.
“Having picked up a niggle against Brest, Kylian Mbappe will work in the gym today,” read a brief PSG medical update this Friday. “He will, however, be able to join the squad for the game against LOSC.”
Although there is no guarantee that Mbappe will start against Les Dogues, his status ahead of the UCL first leg against the Basque outfit is not in any immediate doubt. The bigger question of whether or not Mbappe should be playing as much as he has of late remains valid, but it should be remembered that Les Bleus’ skipper started this season later than his teammates.
Without a real preseason owing to the situation regarding his contract and given the packed schedule, not to mention Mbappe’s aspirations to lead his country at this summer’s UEFA Euro 2024 and Paris Olympic Games, the 25-year-old s at major risk of injury although he publicly seems to think that so many games in such a short space of time is not a bad thing.
“We are approaching the NBA model with 70-game seasons,”. “Personally, I am not against playing so much, but we will not be able to be good every time and give the audience the expected show. In the NBA, players do not play every match and franchises practice load management. But, today, if I decided to say ‘I am tired, I am not playing on Saturday,’ it would not work.
“We are in an era of overconsumption, with a lot of matches, where people expect a lot from players. I have shown that pressure does not affect me negatively and I would even say that I need it to perform. This is what allows us to maintain the degree of excellence required to play at the highest levels.”
Perhaps this latest injury scare will prompt Mbappe to revise his view on the current state of soccer and its huge demands on players. For now, though, PSG could miss their star man from the start against Lille this weekend in an effort to have him ready from the off against Sociedad in Europe next week and could start strictly managing his minutes.