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Teammates hopeful Mbappe can make Friday's match against Dutch

PADERBORN, Germany – Kylian Mbappe’s teammates are hopeful he might yet be available for Friday’s European Championship clash against the Netherlands after suffering a broken nose on Monday.

France have made no announcement on their captain’s availability for their next match at the tournament in Germany but French media reports on Tuesday ruled him out of the encounter.

Both Adrien Rabiot and William Saliba, however, sounded an optimistic note at a press conference on Wednesday, not giving up hope Mbappe could play despite the fracture suffered late in the 1-0 win over Austria in Duesseldorf.

"I met him this morning, he was a little better. He had gone to do other tests. I don't know more. But when I saw him this morning, he was better," defender Saliba told reporters.

Rabiot highlighted the example of his Juventus teammate Wojciech Szczesny, the Poland goalkeeper who also suffered a broken nose in April.

"I don’t know exactly if it’s the same as Kylian. He had surgery the next day or two days later and he was available for the following match," Rabiot recalled.

"That's why when they told me about Kylian's nose being broken, in my head it wasn't so serious, because I told myself that he could be available quite quickly."

But if Mbappe does not make it, Rabiot said France would still be confident of their chances against the Dutch, who won their opening match against Poland in Hamburg on Sunday.

"Of course, he’s a very important player and that will inevitably have an impact, particularly on the preparation of opposing teams, but we have an exceptional group," insisted the midfielder.

"On the bench, we have more than enough means to replace Kylian. I have complete confidence in our quality on the bench." – REUTERS