France’s captain, Antoine Dupont, has joined the host country’s World Cup team a week after undergoing surgery for a broken cheekbone, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced on Saturday.
The medical examination after the operation was carried out on Friday and Dupont was given the green light to resume physical activities, says the statement from the FFR.
“The activities will take place under the supervision of the medical staff of the French team.”
Scrum-half Dupont is expected to return in time for the quarter-final – should France qualify – on the weekend of October 14.
France’s next game is against Italy on Friday in Lyon and a win will secure top spot in Group A and a place in the quarter-finals, probably against World Cup title holders South Africa.
On Thursday, the Roosters’ team doctor, Bruno Boussagol, said he was “convinced” that Dupont’s return would probably not be against Italy.
“The news is encouraging,” said Boussagol. “We stand firmly behind him; we hope for a quick return.
“It is a complicated situation to manage: We have procedures that require us to be careful. But his return is subject to the approval of the surgeon – that is clear.”
Dupont (26), a former World Rugby player of the year, had to be helped off the field in the 96-0 victory against Namibia in Marseille on 21 September.
Namibian captain Johan Deysel was suspended for five matches.
Dupont was positive after the match and wrote on social media “The show must go on”.
Dupont’s omission in the knockout rounds will be a major blow to France’s chances of lifting the Webb Ellis trophy for the first time.
The scrum-half from Toulouse has not yet lost a game as captain on home soil.