Euro 2024: Kylian Mbappé return for France remains unclear

France forward Kylian Mbappé is continuing to recover from his broken nose even though it is not yet sure whether he will play on Tuesday in his side’s last group game at the 2024 Euros, coach Didier Deschamps said on Sunday.

Sources have told ESPN that Mbappé is keen to play and is pushing for a spot in France’s starting XI for the match.

Deschamps kept his cards close to his chest on the French Telefoot television programme, declining to say if Mbappé would feature against Poland in Dortmund but offering reassuring news for supporters about the recovery of his captain, who fractured his nose last Monday in their opener against Austria.

“You will see [whether he plays or not] but everything is going in the right direction, he is recovering from the blow, the bruising is decreasing every day, and he will get used to his mask. He is doing well,” Deschamps said.

France’s medical staff are happy with the consolidation of the bone of his nose and should Mbappé appear at France’s news conference with Deschamps in Dortmund on Monday, he will start the match. If he doesn’t, like against the Dutch, it’s a sign that he might not play, sources have told ESPN.

Following the 0-0 draw against the Netherlands in Leipzig on Friday, when Mbappé stayed on the bench, there has been much analysis in the French media over the team’s attacking prowess, or sudden lack thereof.

France’s only goal in their last three outings was an own goal by Austria’s Maximilan Wober in their opening Group D encounter in Duesseldorf.

But Deschamps gave nothing away when asked if he might freshen up the attack, especially as France, with four points, look certain of a place in the round of 16.

“I have planned a team which will ensure qualification and the best possible finish in the group. We will always hope to get a little more recovery [for some players]. You deduce from that what you want,” he said.

Mbappé’s teammates suggested the 25-year-old attacker was eager to play, at a news conference on Sunday. Especially since playing an hour on the field on Saturday in a training scrimmage against a local academy team.

“When he was on the pitch, he was 100% at it, he is getting used to his mask and he scored,” defender Jonathan Clauss said.

“I think he wants to play the next match. He might like to play without the mask, but the doctor isn’t going to give him the choice,” midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni added.

ESPN’s Julien Laurens contributed to this report