Salem Radio Network News Sunday, December 10, 2023

Sports

Rugby-Recovering Dupont on course for France’s World Cup quarter-final

(Reuters) – Antoine Dupont’s recovery from surgery on a broken cheekbone is going very well and it may not be too long before the France scrumhalf is back on pitch, assistant coach William Servat said, raising hopes he could return in time for the quarter-finals.

The captain will return to the squad on Sunday, though he will not take part in their last Pool A game against Italy on Oct. 6. But there is growing optimism in the French camp that he could return for the knockout rounds, which begin on Oct. 14-15.

“Antoine is doing very well, the surgery went very well,” Servat told reporters.

“He’s obviously resting at home. He will be back for Sunday’s training. Friday and Saturday being days off, he will be able to come back within this time frame.”

Dupont’s return to competition, however, will need to be approved by his surgeon, Frederic Lauwers.

“The first thing is to take care of our players. Antoine will resume training at his own pace, even if there is a desire to come back as quickly as possible,” Servat said.

“It is obviously out of the question to schedule anything as long as he doesn’t have the green light of the medical staff. But it seems that he could be quickly back on a team sheet for France.”

Flanker Francois Cros was also optimistic that Dupont would be back in action soon.

“It’s good news, we have to be optimistic,” he said.

“But we are going to wait for his return to talk to him. Antoine is the only one who will be able to tell us if he feels ready to play.”

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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