LYON, France, Aug 2 (Reuters) - France goalkeeper Gregory Coupet will be sidelined for four months after damaging a knee ligament in training with his Olympique Lyon club on Thursday, the six-times French champions said.
Coupet, who tore a left knee ligament after his foot got caught in the net, will undergo surgery on Monday.
The injury is a severe blow for Lyon, who start the Ligue 1 season by welcoming Auxerre on Sunday, and also for France.
Coupet will miss at least four Euro 2008 qualifiers and notably the next one, a potentially-decisive match against world champions Italy on Sept. 8 in Milan.
'That's life', Coupet told his club's television channel, OL-TV. 'It's not the end of the world. I heard a crack and I feared it could be much worse. The good side to it is that we have a rugby World Cup coming and I'll be able to enjoy every bit of it.'
Number two Remy Vercoutre will deputise in the Lyon goal but coach Alain Perrin said the club, who now have just two goalkeepers available, could purchase a third in Racing Lens's Charles Itandje.
'Gregory Coupet will be sorely missed not only because of his qualities but also because he's a team leader,' Lyon coach Alain Perrin told reporters.
'Remy Vercoutre has replaced Greg before and we trust him but getting a third goalkeeper would be wise.
'Itandje contacted us at a time when we didn't needed him. Now he might come if he accepts behind number two behind Remy but he is not the only option.'