France's Vieira sets Euro 2008 injury deadline

June 4, 2008

France captain Patrick Vieira has given himself until the end of the week to prove his fitness for this summer's European Championships, which begin on Saturday.

The Internazionale midfielder has been ruled out of France's opening Group C match, against Romania in Zurich on Monday, with a left thigh injury.

He was expected to be fit for Les Bleus' final two group games but, given his nagging injury problems this season, some are predicting his tournament could be over before it has even started.

Vieira, who revealed he has a 'little tear' in his thigh, knows the next few days will determine whether he has a role to play in this month's showpiece in Austria and Switzerland.

'It is nothing serious, but unfortunately it has happened at a bad time because every day counts now and the tournament is approaching,' the former Arsenal skipper told French television station TF1, prior to Les Bleus' 1-0 friendly win over Colombia in Paris.

'Now, what I have to do is try to recover as quickly as possible.

'If by the end of the week I am not training with the squad, that would mean I will not be participating in the Euros.

'But I am still optimistic.'

Mathieu Flamini, who will play for AC Milan next season, has been called up to train with France's 23-man squad and will come in as a replacement should Vieira be forced out of the tournament.