Injury crisis at VAFC
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Valenciennes will have to field a weakened team for the start of the new French season.
Ligue 1 new boys Valenciennes will have to field a weakened team for the start of the Championnat season on Saturday because of injuries to key men.
The club's big summer signing Nicolas Penneteau will miss the start of the season because of a knee injury picked up in a pre-season friendly against Sedan.
The goalkeeper is set to have another scan to ascertain the full extent of the problem, but remains philosophical about the situation, after moving from second division Bastia at the end of last season.
"We don't know exactly what it is. I'm wearing a splint and I will have an MRI scan on Monday afternoon," Penneteau explained.
"According to the first examinations it is not a crossed ligament injury, but an internal ligament has been damaged, and maybe meniscus too.
"In the best case it is a bad sprain, and I hope so. Unfortunately injuries are part of a career and I have been lucky so far."
But the 25-year-old's injury is not the only worry ahead of the new season, with front man Eric Hassli suffering a sprained ankle, and Patrick Paauwe and Sebastien Roudet both being treated for thigh problems.
The only good news for VAFC fans is the addition of striker Florin Bratu for the coming campaign.
Romanian Bratu played at Nantes on loan last season, but has now moved to the Stade Nungesser.
Coach Antoine Kombouare will be relying on him and the replacements to prove their worth in what is sure to be a long and tough season in the French top flight.