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Euro 2024 injury round-up: Doubts loom over Mbappé comeback as Germany face defence trouble

Euro 2024 players Barnabas Varga, Hungary, left, Kylian Mbappé, France, centre, Antonio Rüdiger, Germany right
Euro 2024 players Barnabas Varga, Hungary, left, Kylian Mbappé, France, centre, Antonio Rüdiger, Germany right Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Alessio Dell'Anna with AP
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As Germany suffer from centre-back Rüdiger's injury, Hungary criticise Varga's treatment timing and France anxiously await Mbappé's return, we take a look at the most pressing injury situations at Euro 2024.

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As Euro 2024 slides towards the business end, Kylian Mbappé's- a tournament favourite - might not be available for France's upcoming game.

Les Bleus head into Group D's last tie against already-eliminated Poland on Wednesday.

France only need one point to book a ticket for the round of 16 as they are tied on four points with the Netherlands, with Austria a point back in third ahead.

Mbappé sustained a broken nose in France's opening 1-0 win over Austria and didn't come off the bench for the 0-0 draw with the Netherlands on Friday.

“It's no secret that he's really looking forward to the next game", said his teammate Aurélien Tchouaméni on Sunday, "and as far as the mask is concerned, he's starting to get used to it, obviously he would have preferred to play without it, but I think if you ask the doctor, he's not going to give him the choice."

France's Kylian Mbappe attempts a shot during a training session in Paderborn, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024
France's Kylian Mbappe attempts a shot during a training session in Paderborn, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024AP/Hassan Ammar

France's coach Didier Deschamps has sounded optimistic his star forward could play while wearing a face mask. Mbappé has since featured in a behind-closed-doors match against a local team, suggesting he might be ready to return.

For France, much depends on Mbappé's availability. Antoine Griezmann played further forward against the Netherlands in Mbappé's absence, allowing Aurélien Tchouaméni to come in and bolster the central midfield. If Mbappé returns, Griezmann will likely drop back into midfield, with either Tchouaméni or Adrien Rabiot missing out.

Germany lacks defence options

Germany's Antonio Rüdiger strained a hamstring muscle in Germany's 1-1 draw with Switzerland at Euro 2024, his team said on Monday.

The Real Madrid defender was seen holding his leg as he left the field after Sunday's game, which saw Germany level the score with a header from Niclas Füllkrug in stoppage time.

Germany didn't give any details of Rüdiger's condition in a brief statement confirming the injury Monday- or indicate whether he's likely to be fit to play in the round of 16 on Saturday.

Germany's Antonio Rudiger heads the ball during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at Euro 2024
Germany's Antonio Rudiger heads the ball during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at Euro 2024AP/Frank Augstein

If Rüdiger can't play, Germany would be left without either of their first-choice central defenders.

The other central defender from the last game, Jonathan Tah, is suspended for the round of 16 after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament.

It's likely to mean a bigger role for Borussia Dortmund's Nico Schlotterbeck, who replaced Tah off the bench on Sunday.

The other choice for central defenders in the squad are Eintracht Frankfurt's Robin Koch and Stuttgart's Waldemar Anton - both who have yet to make their Euro 2024 debut.

UEFA row erupts over Varga's treatment timing

Hungary forward Barnabás Varga was set to undergo surgery Monday afternoon after breaking several facial bones in a collision with Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

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The match was halted for nearly 10 minutes so Varga could get treatment, as the 29-year-old was carried off on a stretcher and taken to a Stuttgart hospital.

Hungary spokesman Gergo Szabo said Varga "is fine, conscious and waiting to be operated."

Hungary went on to win 1-0 with a dramatic stoppage-time goal from substitute Kevin Csoboth to leave it with a chance of advancing in the tournament, though Varga is unlikely to take part.

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn, up, and Hungary's Barnabas Varga, center, collide during a Group A match between Scotland and Hungary at Euro 2024
Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn, up, and Hungary's Barnabas Varga, center, collide during a Group A match between Scotland and Hungary at Euro 2024AP/Matthias Schrader

Several of Varga’s teammates appeared to be in tears as the forward received treatment on the field. They held up blankets to shield Varga as he was tended to by medical staff.

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The Hungary players had frantically signalled to medical staff after the incident and several have since spoken out about how long it took for Varga to receive treatment. Varga also sustained a concussion.

“I think, yes, it took so long. I can understand, everybody understands the protocol, and what they have to wait, but the life is more important than the football, then the health is more important,” Csoboth said on Monday.

“We wanted to push them to go (on the field), it doesn’t matter what will happen, and that’s the problem. We did not agree with them, why they did not go (on the field) immediately?"

Hungary's Barnabas Varga is strechered out after being injured during a Group A match between Scotland and Hungary at the Euro 2024 tournament in Stuttgart, Germany
Hungary's Barnabas Varga is strechered out after being injured during a Group A match between Scotland and Hungary at the Euro 2024 tournament in Stuttgart, GermanyAP/Matthias Schrader

Hungary captain Dominik Szoboszlai rushed to the pitch with a stretcher because he was concerned with how long it was taking to bring it onto the field.

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UEFA have hit back against the allegations, insisting “there was no delay in the treatment of and assistance to” Varga.

“We would like to clarify that the intervention of the doctor team happened within 15 seconds of the incident, followed immediately by the second stadium doctor, to conduct a first assessment of the injury and provide appropriate treatment, as per customary medical procedures,” European's football governing body said in a statement.

“The qualified pitchside emergency team were waiting pitchside, according to their protocol, and arrived with the stretcher as soon as their intervention was requested by the medics to evacuate the player for his immediate transfer to hospital.”

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