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Fit-again Bastareaud poised for first match since December injury

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP via Getty Images)

Ex-France midfielder Mathieu Bastareaud is expected to play his first match in eight months this Friday after he suffered a season-ending knee injury playing for Lyon in the Top 14 last December. The soon-to-be 33-year-old was unveiled as a Lyon signing in April 2020 on a two-year deal but his experimental positioning at No8 had a cruel outcome with last winter’s serious injury.  


Bastareaud was forced off 15 minutes into Lyon’s 12-8 Top 14 defeat versus Brive on December 27 and his quadriceps tendon rupture was operated on three days later. At the time, the 54-cap French international took to Twitter to say: “End of season. Now we look straight ahead to come back in 2021. Thank you all for your messages.” 

His most recent tweet on August 23 showed him on the Lyon training ground and it has now been reported by that he is in line to make his comeback in this Friday’s pre-season friendly versus Clermont in Issoire.

Bastareaud initially joined Lyon as a medical joker at the start of the 2019/20 season, providing World Cup cover before moving on to his already-arranged deal to play for Rugby United New York in the 2020 Major League Rugby campaign. 

However, with that season ended prematurely by the pandemic, Bastareaud opted to return to Lyon, the Top 14 outfit who now have ambitions of finishing much higher than the ninth position they wound up occupying at the end of the 2020/21 season.  

A club source was quoted as saying: “Mathieu worked very well during his convalescence. He will certainly only play a few minutes because it will be a recovery for him with the contacts, but it is very good news for the whole team.”

Lyon are struggling to assemble their star roster ahead of the new campaign which starts on September 5 with a home match versus Clermont. For instance, Josua Tuisova is reportedly still stranded in Fiji due to pandemic restrictions.



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