Christophe Galtier will make a late call on whether to use Kylian Mbappe in Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Bayern Munich.
The French fighter returned to training ahead of schedule on Monday and is included in PSG’s 22-man squad for Tuesday’s game at the Parc des Princes.
Mbappe was ruled out after picking up a hamstring injury against Montpellier on February 1 which was expected to sideline him for three weeks.
Although he came through his first training session back unscathed, Galtier will not risk the 24-year-old if he does not feel ready to take part.
“He has done everything possible to make himself available for this game,” said Galtier during a press conference on the eve of the game. “He has trained the day before the game and he felt good.
“We will see tomorrow morning how he feels. The first person I will listen to is Kylian, then I will make the wisest decision. He will not be on the bench to make up the numbers.”
Mbappe trained alongside superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar, both of whom are expected to start against Bundesliga leaders Bayern.
“I’m surprised to see him back, yes. But we know Kylian’s ability to recover faster than some,” said Galtier.
“He trained as part of the team and was there for the whole session. His post-training feedback is very positive. But whether he will be on the team sheet, I don’t know.”
Since making his PSG debut in 2017, Mbappe has recorded 57 contributions (34 goals and 23 assists) in 50 Champions League games.
During that time frame, no other player managed 20 goals and 20 assists in the competition.
Neymar, who sat alongside Galtier at Monday’s press conference, hopes his team-mate will be able to join him and Messi in the starting line-up.
“He is a very important player, a great player,” Neymar said. “When the three of us are together, we feel very strong. He told me he felt good. These are good signs.”
PSG have struggled in Mbappe’s short absence, having dropped out of the Coupe de France against Marseille last week before losing 3-1 at Monaco in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Galtier is already under pressure just seven months after taking over, with the Champions League now even more important for the former Lille and Nice boss.
With the stakes so high in the triumphant two-goal clash between the reigning French and German champions, Galtier is confident his players will come out on top.
“There is always pressure when you are a PSG coach, even more so in the Champions League,” he said. “I don’t think about my future at all. I’m determined.
“The team I will field tomorrow will look different to the one against Monaco. In these big games, I know that my players know how to raise their level of play and their standards.”
PSG have beaten Bayern in six of their previous 11 meetings, all of which have come in the Champions League, with the Bavarian giants prevailing five times.
“It’s 50-50,” Galtier said when asked who his favorites are to advance. “It’s the Champions League. My players are used to these big meetings.
“Neither side will go through at the end of the first game, but I know I have a more complete squad now than I did in the competition.”