Yann M'Vila of France lines up for the National Anthems prior to the International Friendly between France and USA at Stade de France in Paris, France. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Yann M'Vila Injury: France Midfielder Has Sprained Ankle

France midfielder Yann M'Vila believed he was seriously injured when he went down against Serbia on Thursday, but avoided bone and ligament damage.

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Yann M'Vila Avoids Serious Injury, Still Has Sprained Ankle

When Yann M'Vila went down injured against Serbia on Thursday, he appeared to be out of Euro 2012, seriously hindering France's chances of going far in the competition. Before he was substituted and sent down the tunnel, M'Vila was crying on the sidelines, overwhelmed by the thought of missing out on the tournament. Ankle ligament damage was feared at first, but M'Vila has dodged a bullet.

M'Vila has a sprained ankle and is hopeful that he can still go to Euro 2012 with France. How much time he misses depends on the degree of the sprain, but it would be very surprising if M'Vila was able to play in France's first group stage game on June 11. However, he's optimistic about his chances to return that quickly.

"We will let things run their course, and hopefully I'll be ready for June 11, God willing. I'm able to put my foot down on the floor, but I still have to walk with crutches, just in case. There is time to heal before the Euros."

Laurent Blanc now has to consider whether or not to call in a replacement, though based on M'Vila's assessment of his own health, he'll probably stick with the team he has. If M'Vila can't play for France against England in their opening game of the tournament, Alou Diarra is likely to take his place in the lineup.

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Yann M'Vila Injury: France Midfielder Hurts Ankle, Leaves Match Against Serbia

France may no longer be the dark horse contenders at Euro 2012. In the 4th minute of their friendly match against Serbia on Thursday, midfielder Yann M'Vila pulled up injured after his foot got stuck in the pitch and his ankle bent the wrong way. M'Vila appeared to be in serious pain, required the assistance of trainers to leave the pitch, and was visibly crying on the bench. He was replaced by Alou Diarra, and headed down the tunnel to the locker room.

Even if Diarra has avoided a serious injury, it would be very surprising if he did not suffer a badly sprained ankle, at the very least. That wouldn't stop him from starting preseason on time for Rennes or securing a big-money transfer, but it would be a serious enough injury that Laurent Blanc would need to consider calling up a replacement for Euro 2012. While no one has a diagnosis yet, it'll take a miracle for M'Vila to return to Les Bleus in the short term.

M'Vila is currently one of two starters in the center of midfield, alongside Yohan Cabaye. Diarra, the man who replaced him in the match against Serbia, would likely take over the starting role. He's a tactical like-for-like replacement, but doesn't have nearly the athletic ability or technical quality of M'Vila. With all due respect to Diarra, the loss of M'Vila will be a massive blow for France.

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