Paris: France`s second choice goalkeeper Steve Mandanda faces a battle to be fit for the World Cup finals after it was announced on Sunday he would be sidelined for six weeks.
The 29-year-old Marseille `keeper, who is the understudy in the French national team to Hugo Lloris, suffered a cracked vertebra in his neck following a collision with Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare in Saturday`s Ligue 1 match.
"Mandanda will wear a neck brace for three weeks and then undergo a similar period of rehabilitation," Marseille said in a statement.
France`s opening game of the World Cup finals is against Honduras on June 15.
Should Mandanda be forced to pull out of the squad France coach Didier Deschamps should call up St Etienne`s Stephane Ruffier, who has been capped once, as he was in a list of seven players placed on standby earlier in the week.