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Lyon's Nabil Fekir suffers cruciate ligament injury on France duty

Lyon manager Hubert Fournier says he hopes his team continues to perform well so they are well positioned when Nabil Fekir returns from a cruciate ligament injury.

Fekir, 22, suffered the injury while playing in Portugal on Friday in what was his first start for France.

Le Progres says Ligue 1's Young Player of the Year faces an operation next Monday as surgeons wait for the swelling on his knee to go down.

The Lyon academy graduate is set to miss at least six months and Fournier said it is unlikely that Lyon would seek a replacement.

"It spoiled one of the rare weekends where we didn't have a match," Fournier told the club's official site. "It's a serious loss for the club and for the national team.

"We're thinking of Nabil who's been punished in a personal capacity for a relatively long time. They're talking about six months, like Milan [Bisevac] last season.

"He dropped by the club this morning [Monday]. Apart from supporting him, the only thing we can try to do is to perform as well as possible so that he can come back in the best circumstances and experience a nice end to the season with us."

Nabil Fekir is helped off the pitch by France coach Didier Deschamps.

Fekir, who has been compared to Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben, scored 13 goals and made nine more in Ligue 1 last season and signed a new contract over the summer despite reported interest from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

He hit a superb hat trick in a 4-0 win over Caen before the international break and last week he spoke of his desire to push on further this season.

Fekir's injury has come at a particularly bad time for Lyon as last season's Ligue 1 runners-up are preparing to mark their return to the Champions League. Their opening group game is away to Belgian champions Gent next week.

"We have to move on even if everyone is disappointed that we can't count on him," Fournier said. "Disappointed collectively and especially disappointed for him because he was enjoying himself preparing for this season ahead of Euro 2016 and the Champions League."

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