De Melo blow for high-flyers
By Laurent Picard
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Striker Vinicius De Melo has been sidelined for the rest of the season.
Ligue 1's surprise package Le Mans have received a blow with the news Vinicius De Melo will not play again this season.
The club's official website confirmed that De Melo, nicknamed Tulio, has suffered knee ligament damage and will no longer be available in coach Frederic Hantz's attempts to sustain the club's fifth-place standing.
"The Brazilian striker, who has scored seven goals this season in Ligue 1, has been the victim of ruptured ligaments in the player's right knee," read a statement.
"This grave injury will deprive Le Mans of Tulio until the end of the season."
The injury to De Melo should open the door for January signing Libano Grafite, with the former Sao Paulo striker now poised to prove his worth to new employers with an extended run in the first team.