Kylian Mbappé latest: Nose is broken, evaluating mask options for key Netherlands clash

Kylian Mbappé latest: Nose is broken, evaluating mask options for key Netherlands clash

Updated Jun. 17, 2024 8:53 p.m. ET

Kylian Mbappé handed France a major boost in the hours following his bloodied departure from the team’s Euro 2004 opener, indicating he may play on with a broken nose during the group stage — possibly with the help of a protective mask.

Sources close to the French team told FOX Sports that Mbappé had been taken to a Düsseldorf hospital after being subbed out late in France’s 1-0 victory over Austria following a heavy collision with opposition defender Kevin Danso.

Head coach Didier Deschamps confirmed to French television station TF1 that the player’s nose was believed by team doctors to be broken even when he was inspected on the field in the closing minutes of the Group D matchup.


That was later verified by hospital physicians, with Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano posting on X at 1.26 a.m. German time on Tuesday that Mbappé had just left the medical facility to return to the team hotel and that X-rays had revealed a break. 

There were initial fears that the injury could require surgery that may rule him out of the rest of the group stage and he will be further evaluated on Tuesday. However, the latest reports from France, combined with Mbappé's mask post, seem to indicate a swifter return.

Former United States captain Clint Dempsey broke his nose in the team’s opening game of the 2014 World Cup, but played and scored in the next game and declined to use what was then known as a "Kobe Bryant-style" mask, following the basketball superstar’s use of one in a game against the Miami Heat in 2012.

Having won its first game, France now has a decision to make about how to handle the playing time of its influential captain and most potent scoring threat.

Friday’s clash with the Netherlands shapes up as being the game that could decide top spot in the group. However, Deschamps needs no reminding that having Mbappé at full strength during the knockout stage is of paramount importance.

"The national squad will always be stronger with Kylian," he told reporters. "But if news does not go along these lines we will have to fight without him. But Kylian is Kylian, and every team is stronger with him in it."

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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