PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé has less than three weeks to recover from a heavily sprained ankle in order to face Atalanta in the Champions League quarterfinals.
PSG plays the free-scoring Italian side on Aug. 12 in Lisbon as part of the final eight’s single-game knockout format, which ends with the final on Aug. 23. PSG is already without striker Edinson Cavani, who did not renew his contract when it expired at the end of June.
Mbappé limped off injured in the first half of a 1-0 win over Saint-Étienne in the French Cup final on Friday night, and watched the rest of the match from the bench with a brace on his foot. He left the Stade de France on crutches.
PSG said in a short statement on Saturday that Mbappé’s “serious right ankle sprain” will be reevaluated in three days after further tests.
Saint-Étienne center half Loïc Perrin was sent off in the 30th minute for clumsily hacking him down as he sprinted past, and Mbappé’s right ankle appeared to buckle under him.
“It just cracked a bit,” Mbappé told French President Emmanuel Macron after the final, as PSG players were about to collect their medals.
Perrin’s foul was badly timed rather than malicious, and the veteran defender clearly looked worried when Mbappé writhed on the ground. He accompanied Mbappé as he walked off the field.
Saint-Étienne sent Mbappé its best wishes for a speedy recovery in a Tweet on Saturday, to which the France star responded positively.
But PSG coach Thomas Tuchel claimed the referee failed to protect his players and was angry with Saint-Étienne’s approach.
“Whoever sees a foul like that is worried. Of course I’m worried,” Tuchel said after the game. “It’s our third match against Saint-Étienne and the third red card they’ve received in the first 30 minutes. It’s not because they’re tired.”
Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini also wished Mbappé well.
“I sincerely hope it’s not too serious, even if for the moment it appears to be so,” Gasperini said. “Mbappé is a fantastic player, world class.”
PSG can complete a domestic treble if it beats Lyon in the League Cup final on Friday.