The soccer world is waiting to discover how long France superstar Kylian Mbappé will be out of the European Championship after breaking his nose.

The diagnosis is fairly encouraging from two of his teammates.

“A fractured nose isn`t the end of the world,” midfielder Adrien Rabiot said Wednesday through a translator at a new conference in Paderborn, where France holds its training sessions, “and Kylian should be with us pretty soon.”

William Saliba said he spoke to Mbappé and the Real Madrid-bound striker was feeling a `bit better` ahead of undergoing more tests on the nose injury sustained in the team`s Group D opener against Austria, which France won 1-0.

Mbappé broke his nose when his face collided with the shoulder of Austria defender Kevin Danso. Blood was seen pouring from Mbappé`s badly swollen nose, turning parts of his white France jersey red. He will have to wear a face mask if he plays on at the tournament, France said.

France`s next match is against the Netherlands on Friday and the team has yet to officially confirm whether Mbappé is available.

“I saw him this morning, he was a bit better,” Saliba said through a translator.

“I think he was off to do more tests. I don`t know anything more. But when I saw him this morning, he was a bit better.”

Rabiot has compared the injury to one suffered by his teammate at Juventus, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. The Poland international broke his nose against Torino in April, underwent surgery and was back in the team the following week.

The widespread expectation is that Mbappé will play a further part at Euro 2024, especially since France`s win over Austria means the team is likely to advance to the knockout stage, which begins on June 29.

Also Read: ‘Mbappe’s nose is a mess’

France will not be playing its match in the round of 16 before June 30.

Rabiot stressed he didn`t know how long Mbappé will be out, but said “playing without Kylian could be tough.”

“He is a very important teammate and he is our captain, so it will have an effect on us, but also for the opponents, it will be different for them to prepare their game,” Rabiot said.

“I`m not going to hide it, we definitely want him to play. (But) looking at who we have on the bench, I think we have what it takes to replace Kylian. If he`s not there, it`s going to be a bit more tough but I trust all the great players we have on the team.”

Olivier Giroud and Randal Kolo Muani are the options to come in for Mbappé, who was nominally a center forward against Austria but was given license to roam to the left or right. It was from the right wing where he played in the cross for the only goal, a header into his own net by Maximilian Wober. 

(With agency inputs)