Blanc optimistic that M'Vila can play at Euro 2012

Blanc optimistic that M'Vila can play at Euro 2012

Published Jun. 4, 2012 7:06 p.m. ET

France coach Laurent Blanc is optimistic that central midfielder Yann M'Vila can recover from his sprained ankle in time to play at the European Championship.

M'Vila injured his right ankle in the early stages of last Thursday's 2-0 win against Serbia, but scans showed the damage to his ankle was not as bad as initially feared.

Blanc said Monday that the 21-year-old M'Vila has an outside chance of playing against England in their opening match at Euro 2012 on June 11th, and should be ready after that.

''(He is) better, a lot better. He is an important part of the team. A lot can happen between now and June 11th,'' Blanc said. ''In my opinion he might be a bit short for the first match. But, you never know, there's always the chance of a pleasant surprise.''


M'Vila has played 19 times for France in a deep-lying central midfield role, protecting the defense and using his crisp passing to move the ball out smoothly.

Alou Diarra will replace M'Vila in Tuesday's friendly match against Estonia, the last warm-up before France flies out to its Donetsk camp in Ukraine.

''We have to get Alou in shape, but we mustn't tire him out,'' Blanc said.