France’s Mbappé breaks nose, will need to wear a mask if he plays on at Euro 2024

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Kylian Mbappé suffered a broken nose during France’s opening game at the European Championship and will have to wear a face mask if he plays on at the tournament.

The French Football Federation said Mbappé would not “immediately” need surgery but did not specify how long it would take before he is available to play again.

“A mask will be made so as to allow the No. 10 of the French team to consider resuming competition after a period devoted to treatment,” it said in a statement.

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The Federation said the decision not to carry out surgery came after he was treated by Dr. Franck Le Gall at a Dusseldorf hospital following France’s 1-0 win against Austria on Monday.

Mbappé stayed on the ground after his face collided with the shoulder Austria’s Kevin Danso as he attempted a header during the Group D match at Dusseldorf Arena. His nose was badly swollen and blood poured from his face, turning parts of his white jersey red.

Austria goalkeeper Patrick Pentz signaled for urgent medical assistance.

“We’re worried to see Kylian leave the field like that,” France midfielder N’Golo Kante said afterward.

France coach Didier Deschamps could not immediately say if Mbappé’s tournament was over when questioned by media after the game.

“I don’t have the elements in my hands,” he said. “I cannot at this stage give the answer.”

Mbappé’s injury is a big deal for France, as the country’s captain, its best player and one of the biggest stars of the tournament. It’s a concern for Real Madrid, too, after he left Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent to sign for the Spanish club in the offseason.

Mbappé is widely regarded as the heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world and led his country to the World Cup title in 2018 at the age of 19.

He became only the second player in history to score a hat trick in a World Cup final four years later in Qatar as France was runner-up to Messi’s Argentina.

Champions League winner Madrid ended its years-long pursuit of Mbappé earlier this month and he will join its roster of superstars, which included Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham.

France’s priority will be to get him back on the field and leading its bid to win a record-equaling third Euros. Madrid will want him in peak condition for the start of the season and Mbappé already indicated this week that his new club did not want him to take part in the Paris Olympics, where the men’s final is Aug. 9.

If he is to play on at the Euros, he will need to wear the type of protective face mask worn by Son Heung-min and Josko Gvardiol at the World Cup in 2022.

But the speed of his return will depend on the level of discomfort he feels.

A broken nose can take weeks to heal and the National Health Service in the UK says sport should be avoided for “at least six weeks if there’s a chance your face might be hit.”

Mbappe, who has returned to the team’s training camp with the rest of the squad, appeared to see the lighter side of his injury.

“Any ideas for masks?” he posted on X.

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