Ander Herrera admits PSG are ‘optimistic’ Kylian Mbappe can be fit for Champions League showdown with Atalanta as French star faces race to overcome ankle injury
- Kylian Mbappe suffered a horror ankle sprain during PSG’s French Cup final win
- Mbappe could return for PSG’s Champions League quarter-final on August 12
- Ander Herrera is optimistic his team-mate could play against Atalanta
- PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel is less positive about Mbappe’s fitness
Ander Herrera is hopeful that Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe will be able to play in the French giant’s Champions League quarter-final later this month.
The French forward picked up an ankle injury during PSG’s French Cup final win over Saint-Etienne last week after being on the wrong end of a horror tackle that saw opposition defender Loic Perrin sent off for dangerous foul play.
Mbappe limped out of the match at the Stade de France and missed PSG’s French League Cup final win over Lyon on Friday night, but Herrera believes the striker could be fit for the Champions League last-eight clash against Atalanta on August 12.
Kylian Mbappe could be fit for PSG’s quarter-final clash against Atalanta, says Ander Herrera
Herrera (pictured) says the Frenchman is working hard to be fit for the August 12 clash
Speaking after the penalty shootout win over Lyon, Herrera said: ‘We are optimistic with Kylian. We have seen that he can walk.
‘He’s very professional, he’s young. He really wants to play and we can be very calm. He works every day, morning and afternoon.
‘But if it’s not possible for him to play, we also have other solutions. Kylian is very important and I’m sure he will try to play.’
Mbappe suffered an ankle sprain after a horror challenge by Saint-Etienne’s Loic Perrin (right)
The Frenchman was reduced to tears after the tackle, which resulted in a red card for Perrin
The message from Herrera is more positive than the one conveyed by PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, who said Mbappe’s chances of playing in the Champions League last eight are very minimal.
The German said: ‘We still hope, but the chances will be very, very small. Every day counts to achieve a miracle.’
Mbappe is an integral part of Thomas Tuchel’s side having scored 90 goals in 121 appearances since his arrival from Monaco in 2017.
The 21-year-old was spotted after the Saint-Etienne game on crutches, leaving the Ligue 1 club fearful that he could miss his side’s crucial Champions League run-in during August.
Mbappe left the French Cup final on crutches, with many fearing for the Frenchman’s fitness
Mbappe missed PSG’s French League Cup final win over Lyon on Friday night due to injury
PSG are looking to win their first ever Champions League title during the World Cup-style tournament in Lisbon this month.
Tuchel’s side face high-flying and free-scoring Serie A side Atalanta at the quarter-final stage in August and would face either RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid in the last four if they can overcome their Italian opponents.
The Champions League final will take place on August 23, the day after the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season starts.