Arsenal loanee Nicolas Pepe was a late withdrawal from OGC Nice’s squad to face his former club Lille OSC on Sunday, with Nice deciding to pull him out of the match on the morning of the game.
The club report that Pepe’s absence is due to knee pain, with assessments already underway.
Whilst the issue was clearly serious enough to prevent Pepe’s participation this weekend, the hope will be that it isn’t much more than that.
For now, the problem is only being described as pain, not a tear or strain or rupture, so that’s a positive.
At the time of writing, Pepe is Nice’s top scorer in all competitions, with eight goals so far this campaign, even after winning a penalty for his main goalscoring rival Andy Delort to convert.
Nice have had a mixed season so far this campaign, but it’s still not completely out of the question that they could make a late run for some kind of European football. They’d just need to start showing some consistency.
A fit and firing Nicolas Pepe would also be vital for any hopes that Nice continue to climb the Ligue 1 standings, so they’ll be waiting nervously for the results of his assessments.
As well as playing in Ligue 1, Nice are also progressing in the Europa Conference League, and after topping their group they’ll skip straight to the Round of 16 in March.