Kylian Mbappe looks set to feature for Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta in Lisbon on Wednesday having made a good recovery from an ankle injury, his coach Thomas Tuchel said on the eve of the game.
“If he trains well on Tuesday evening and nothing extraordinary happens, he will be in the team on Wednesday,” Tuchel told reporters.
However, Tuchel did then suggest that Mbappe would most likely be used off the bench against the Italians.
“We are really pleased to have the possibility of finishing the match with Kylian on the pitch because that gives Neymar someone who likes playing alongside him,” he said.
Mbappe was left in a race against time to be fit for the start of the ‘Final Eight’ after suffering a sprained ankle in a crunching tackle early in PSG’s French Cup final win over Saint-Etienne on July 24.
The World Cup-winning France forward made his return to collective training at the weekend during PSG’s training camp in Portugal’s Algarve.
Whether he starts or not, the announcement comes as a huge boost to the French champions as they aim to reach the semi-finals of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since the Qatari takeover almost a decade ago.
Meanwhile, Tuchel refused to rule midfield maestro Marco Verratti out of the rest of the competition, should PSG go all the way.
The final in Lisbon is scheduled for August 23 with the semi-final on August 18 if PSG qualify. Verratti is currently out with a calf injury.
“We must wait and be patient with Marco,” said the German.
“Last week he couldn’t run. He has just started again but it is going to be very tight for the semi-finals. But we will try everything like we have done with Kylian.”