With the Men’s World Championships looming in just nine days, the status of French national team member Earvin Ngapeth may be in jeopardy. The outside hitter, who was part of the French silver medal team at the inaugural Volleyball Nations League tournament earlier this summer, reportedly suffered an abdominal injury on Wednesday, although it is not said to be as serious as the one that kept him out of the 2017 CEV European Championships.
According to IVolley Magazine, “the medical outlook calls for uscular stretching and of two to three weeks of rest.”
Head coach Laurent Tillie, however, said “there is no reason to worry.”
It will not be the first time in 2018 that the French national team has been without Ngapeth, as the star was benched for Week 2 of VNL play. He returned on Week 3 and went on to score a total of 115 points in the tournament, second most of any French player behind Stephen Boyer and 34th overall with 87 kills, 11 blocks and 17 aces.
In additional to abdominal issues, Ngapeth, who was MVP of the 2015 and 2017 French World League title teams, also missed the 2017 FIVB Grand Champions Cup with lower back issues.
Ngapeth plays his club ball for Zenit Kazan, after transferring from Italy’s Modena. The 28-year old outside hitter signed a two-year deal going through the spring of 2020.
Prior to joining Zenit Kazan, Ngapeth led Modena to two Italian Championships, two Italian Cup titles and two Italian SuperCup wins.