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Coupet forced on to sidelines

Published: Wednesday 10 March 2004, 15.27CET
Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Grégory Coupet may miss the first leg of his side's quarter-final.

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Published: Wednesday 10 March 2004, 15.27CET

Coupet forced on to sidelines

Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Grégory Coupet may miss the first leg of his side's quarter-final.
Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Grégory Coupet is likely to miss the first leg of his side's UEFA Champions League quarter-final after suffering a wrist injury.

Early collision
The French international was hurt during Lyon's 1-0 home win against Real Sociedad de Fútbol last night, which gave them a 2-0 aggregate success. He sustained the injury in the fourth minute following a collision with Igor Gabilondo but, after a lengthy stoppage, it was felt he could continue. However, after trying to shake off the problem, Coupet was replaced by Rémy Vercoutre in the 16th minute.

Better news
Despite initial concerns that the wrist might be fractured, tests today have revealed only bruising. As such, the player is expected to miss a couple of weeks, although that could include the next Champions League fixtures scheduled for 23/24 March. "Yesterday I believed my career had ended when I heard my wrist cracking," said a relieved Coupet. "It turns out it is just a bruise."

French hope
Coupet is targeting a place in the France squad for UEFA EUR0 2004™ in Portugal this summer as the second-choice goalkeeper behind Fabien Barthez. He will hope to be fit for France's friendly against the Netherlands on 31 March, which falls the week before the Champions League quarter-final second legs.

Last updated: 10/03/04 14.12CET

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