M'Vila making rapid progress before England game

M'Vila making rapid progress before England game

Published Jun. 8, 2012 4:12 p.m. ET

Central midfielder Yann M'Vila is making ''spectacular'' progress as he recovers from an ankle injury, although he still remains doubtful for France's opener against England in the European Championship.

The 21-year-old M'Vila sprained his right ankle eight days ago against Serbia, but may have an outside chance of making the bench for Monday's Group D match in Donetsk.

''Every player responds differently and his improvement has been spectacular. But we shouldn't get carried away as there's not only the England game to think about,'' France doctor Fabrice Bryand said Friday. ''We will step up (his training) to see if his ankle flares up again, and whether he feels any pain. We will be very attentive to how the player feels.

''The training sessions will become more and more intense to get him as close to match fitness as possible.''


Alou Diarra is still likely to start Monday's game instead of M'Vila. France plays Ukraine four days later.

Midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who is a backup to M'Vila and Diarra, is also making a good recovery from a left hamstring tear.

''They are both recovering very quickly, but I couldn't say who is the nearest to being ready,'' Bryand said. ''I am trying to get them ready, but Laurent Blanc picks the team. We'll only know over the next three days, and then the coaching staff has to decide.''

They are Blanc's only defensive midfielders, and the coach probably needs either M'Vila or Matuidi on the bench against England.

Meanwhile, striker Karim Benzema, left back Patrice Evra and Diarra were expected to resume full training on Friday evening.

They sat out Thursday's training as a precautionary measure.