Football: Legacy of Larsson's leg

Uefa Cup Second round second leg: CELTIC

THE LYON coach, Bernard Lacombe, last night spoke of the mental impact on Serge Blanc after the defender's accidental collision with Henrik Larsson resulted in the Swede breaking his leg a fortnight ago.

The 13th-minute incident during the Uefa Cup second-round first-leg game in France saw Larsson sustain a double fracture of his left leg after catching his studs in the turf as he challenged Blanc.

The Swede will now miss the remainder of the season and, prior to tonight's return leg at Parkhead, Lacombe revealed that the blameless Blanc, who later scored in the 1-0 win, has been distressed by the injury. "Serge was very shocked and you could see this visibly in training for the two or three days after the match. It took him a little while to get over it," Lacombe said. "He didn't feel ready to get straight back into action. It's the policy of Lyon for a player not to get in contact with another but the club sent gifts and flowers to the hospital.

"I must say that I would have preferred Henrik Larsson to be on the pitch against us even with what he would have brought to the game for Celtic because I'd rather he be playing than have suffered this terrible injury."

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