French pessimistic about M'Vila return

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The Independent Football

France are "not optimistic" of having Yann M'Vila available for their European Championship opener against England on Monday.

But there was otherwise positive news on Les Bleus' defensive midfield injury crisis, with Blaise Matuidi and Alou Diarra both making good progress in their recovery from setbacks.

M'Vila has been a doubt for the game since turning his ankle in a pre-tournament friendly against Serbia on 31 May and team doctor Fabrice Bryand considers it likely the Rennes player will miss out against England.

"His progress is good but we do not want to aggravate the injury," Bryand told L'Equipe. "We are not optimistic for the 11th. We will increase his workload and see if his ankle swells again or if he suffers ill effects. We will pay close attention to his recovery."

The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal after establishing himself as a key player in Ligue 1, and his likely absence will be a boost to Roy Hodgson and his squad.

Bryand admitted Marseilles midfielder Diarra "gave us a big scare" when he felt pain in his knee, having been pencilled in to fill the problem position. "He suffered a slight inflammation of the tendon behind the knee, but it's going well," he said.