OGC Nice’s Belhanda ruled out of AFCON

OGC Nice playmaker Younes Belhanda has suffered an untimely injury, ruling him out of the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon next month.

The French club have confirmed the news of the injury, claiming the Morocco international will be unavailable for selection for over a month.

The 26-year-old was expected to be an integral part of manager Herve Renard's squad for the continental showpiece, as the French tactician aims for a record-breaking third title with three different countries.

"Younes Belhanda is suffering from a broken toe, and will be sidelined 4-6 weeks," read a statement on the club's official website.

"[He has] undergone medical examinations on Thursday. It determined the diagnosis in a definitive manner."

Despite the injury-enforced absence of Belhanda, the Atlas Lions will still be confident going into the tournament.

Boasting a 'Golden Generation' of players, Morocco face a tough group A – alongside Champions Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Togo.