Nicolas Pepe to return from injury on Thursday

Nicolas Pepe to return from injury on Thursday
Nice’s French midfielder Sofiane Diop (L) and Nice’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe (R) celebrate scoring the 0:1 goal during the European Conference League 1st Round Group D football match 1. FC Slovacko vs OGG Nice in Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by RADEK MICA/AFP via Getty Images)

When Arsenal loanee Nicolas Pepe picked up a knee injury in mid-January, there was little clarity over exactly how long he might be out.

The winger was suffering from tendonitis, with OGC Nice confirming they would need to assess the extent of the issue before putting a timeline on the 27-year-old’s return. But almost two months later, he was still out of action.

Fortunately, it seems Pepe is now set for a comeback on Thursday.

OGC Nice assistant manager Julien Sable told a press conference on Wednesday (via GFFN): “Nicolas will be in the squad. It’s important for him to be back.”

Nice host Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday night, in the second leg of their Europa Conference League Round-of-16 tie.

Nice have a 1-0 advantage after the first leg, so they’ll be looking to get the job done at home.

Nice’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe (R) scores his team’s second goal during the French L1 football match between OGC Nice and ES Troyes AC (ESTAC) at the Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, south-eastern France, on October 9, 2022. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Before his injury, Pepe had made 23 appearances for Nice in all competitions, scoring eight goals.

At the time, that made him the team’s top scorer this season. He’s currently the joint-top scorer, after Gaetan Laborde caught up in his absence.

Seventh in Ligue 1 and with a good chance of making the Europa Conference League quarter-finals, Nice have plenty to play for in the remainder of the campaign.


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