France captain Antoine Dupont will be assessed by the surgeon who operated on his fractured cheekbone before staff decide if he can return for a possible Rugby World Cup quarter-final, the team said on Tuesday.
Dupont, who underwent surgery after suffering the injury in a clash of heads with Johan Deysel in the 96-0 drubbing of Namibia on September 21, will see the surgeon on Monday, France’s medical director Bruno Boussagol said.
“Until we have the medical opinion, he can’t start playing rugby again. If we get the green light and the prerequisites, there will be a progressive return,” Boussagol said.
“We will wait for the surgeon’s opinion to see if we can envisage him returning for a possible quarter-final.”
Boussagol said the scrum-half’s return to the squad at their training base in Aix-en-Provence this weekend had gone well.
“We quickly moved to running drills. Everything is going normally with Antoine. The next step will be a visit to the surgeon on Monday for a final check.
“Then we’ll have to see how he reacts — will he have all of his abilities and no apprehension?” Boussagol said.
“The third step is that the coaches need to take the final decision after talking to Antoine,” he added.
Dupont, 26, will be hoping to return for a possible quarter-final likely to be against reigning champions South Africa on October 15.
France are top of Pool A with 13 points and need to beat Italy in Lyon on Friday to finish top of the group.