Socceroos midfielder Denis Genreau will spend the next six months looking more like a rugby player. The 22-year-old will be forced to train and play with a mouthguard after suffering a serious facial injury a fortnight ago, which put him at risk of losing his front teeth.
Playing for French club Toulouse, Genreau received a blow to the face in the first half of a Ligue 2 match at Dunkirk, which broke his first row of teeth, preventing him from properly closing the mouth. Despite the pain and discomfort, he played a full game, but the sight of a bloody mouth afterwards freaked out his team doctor, urging Genreau to see a dentist immediately.
“I tried to close my mouth in the game but couldn’t close it because my teeth were blocking it. I was like ‘that doesn’t look good’. It didn’t feel right. I showed the doctor and he told me I had to see the dentist right after the game, ”said Genreau.
The midfielder underwent emergency work which resulted in the first row of his teeth being folded back and held with glue. This allowed him to close his mouth, but he was unable to eat solid food for several days due to the pain and still has difficulty chewing one side of his mouth. While his teeth are now aligned, the fix is not yet permanent. There is a risk that his teeth will not heal in position and potentially die. To minimize those chances, he will have to take the unusual step of wearing a mouthguard for another six months, including the Socceroos’ upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Japan.
“I shouldn’t try to smile too much because my teeth have collapsed. I have to wear a mouthguard for the next three months. It’s not fun to eat either, ”said Genreau.
“It was straightened up and they put glue on it. You keep the glue for three months and see if the teeth survive because there is a good chance that they will die.
The incident was a rare blemish at what has been an otherwise superb start to life in French football for the former Macarthur and Melbourne City man. Genreau sealed the Bulls’ transition to one of the biggest second tier clubs in French football and became a regular holder for Toulouse.
Since returning from international duty last month, Genreau has started four games with the league leaders who are on track for promotion to Ligue 1 at this early stage of the season.