Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed they will almost certainly be without striker Edinson Cavani for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg away at Manchester United, while right-back Thomas Meunier has also been ruled out.
Cavani, 31, injured a tendon in his right hip taking a penalty to score the only goal of the match in Saturday’s 1-0 Ligue 1 home win over Bordeaux, and a PSG statement read: “Medical examinations have revealed an injured tendon in Edinson’s right hip.
“The treatment of this injury and the length of his unavailability will depend on the evolution of the injury over the coming days.”
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel has feared the worst since Saturday and admitted after the Bordeaux victory that he was not confident that Cavani would be back in time for the trip to Manchester. His view had not changed by Sunday morning when he spoke with TF1’s Telefoot.
“There is no good news this morning,” he said. “Edinson has undergone exams and there will be more tests here at the training centre. My feeling is that it will be very difficult for him to feature in Manchester.
“In any case, we must wait a bit more as the exams are still ongoing. The club will communicate on this a bit later. I think that the news will not be very good. I still have a little hope, but the first tests were not good.
“I am worried, but only because we are missing key players. In matches like these, decisive Champions League games, you absolutely need your key men as they are experienced in handling pressure in matches like this one.”
On Saturday, Tuchel acknowledged that injuries to Cavani, Marco Verratti and Neymar over recent weeks have forced him to move from “Plan B to Plan D!”
Cavani is joined by Meunier in missing the Old Trafford leg after neurological tests revealed light concussion after a heavy collision with Bordeaux’s Francois Kamano during Saturday’s encounter and PSG added that the Belgium international will be unavailable until at least the end of next week.
“Thomas’ neurological examination confirmed a light concussion,” read the statement. “He will be unavailable until his next neurological consultation at the end of the week.”
Before the Cavani and Meunier injuries, Tuchel already knew that he would be without Neymar after he was ruled out for over two months with a second fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot in as many years.
Some good news for Tuchel, though, is that midfielder Marco Verratti has won his race to be fit after overcoming a sprained ankle and a thigh issue to play for an hour against Bordeaux to prove his fitness ahead of Old Trafford.
PSG could have Meunier back for the return leg against United in March, but Neymar has already been ruled out of that one too, and medical sources have indicated to ESPN FC that Cavani is already facing a battle to ready for the Parc des Princes leg.