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Injury problems mount for Lyon

Published: Thursday 11 November 2004, 10.03CET
Eric Abidal and Hatem Ben Arfa picked up injuries along with Paris Saint-Germain FC's Danijel Ljuboja. features

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Published: Thursday 11 November 2004, 10.03CET

Injury problems mount for Lyon

Eric Abidal and Hatem Ben Arfa picked up injuries along with Paris Saint-Germain FC's Danijel Ljuboja.
Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain FC both face the prospect of losing key men for forthcoming UEFA Champions League matches following last night's French League Cup action.

Two more hurt
Lyon, who have lost key men Claudio Caçapa, Sylvain Wiltord, Giovane Elber and Grégory Coupet in recent weeks, saw defender Eric Abidal and forward Hatem Ben Arfa hurt during last night's 3-2 French League Cup defeat by LOSC Lille Métropole. The injuries left Lyon with nine men during extra time as all three substitutes had already been used.

Coach concern
Although the defeat was Lyon's first in 23 matches, coach Paul Le Guen was most concerned about Ben Arfa who was taken to hospital after appearing to have broken his collarbone. The 17-year-old seems set to miss Lyon's remaining two group stage fixtures at Manchester United FC and at home to AC Sparta Praha, although they have already qualified for the first knockout round.

Goalkeeper collision
Abidal, who had just been called into the France squad for next week's friendly against Poland, suffered a knee problem against his former club when he ran into goalkeeper Nicolas Puydebois although he struggled on until the end of normal time, having scored the equalising goal to force the additional 30 minutes. "Nico collided with me," Abidal said. "The pain in my knee was intense."

Elber lay-off
Elber will not return until the new year after being operated on by his former club doctor at FC Bayern München, Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt. The Brazilian broke the fibula in his right leg and dislocated an ankle in August but hoped to return before the winter break. However, after the surgeon "saw something that the doctor in France missed", according to Elber, he will now be sidelined for two further months. Lyon, meanwhile, are unhappy that he returned to Germany without their permission.

Ljuboja worry
PSG were also involved in League Cup action, going through to the last 16 with a 3-2 win at Olympique de Marseille. However, the success came at a cost as Danijel Ljuboja left the pitch just after the hour with a suspected dislocated shoulder. France's other Champions League contenders, AS Monaco FC, progressed on Tuesday night with a 1-0 victory at CS Sedan-Ardennes.

Last updated: 12/11/04 12.02CET

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