Any setbacks in the forward’s injury recovery could cost him a spot at the tournament in Russia this summer, the national team’s doctor confirmed
Neymar faces a race to be fit for the World Cup after Brazil’s national team doctor stated his recovery will take an estimated three months.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward suffered a broken metatarsal in Sunday’s victory over Marseille and his club confirmed on Wednesday that he is to undergo surgery on his injured foot.
The attacker, who became the most expensive footballer in history with last summer’s transfer from Barcelona, now looks a major doubt to play another game for PSG this season.
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If Brazil’s doctor, Rodrigo Lasmar, is correct in his prognosis then Neymar also faces an anxious wait to regain full fitness before the World Cup kicks off in mid-June.
“It was a small fissure [in the fifth metatarsal of the right foot], a major fracture of a bone in the middle of the foot, and the operation will be on Saturday morning in Belo Horizonte,” Lasmar told Globo TV upon landing in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
“We do not have the exact time, but the surgery will certainly be on Saturday. It will be two and a half months to three months of recovery for Neymar.
“After surgery we will have more details about this time. He is sad, upset, but understands that he has no alternative but to recover as soon as possible “
Although Neymar might be heart-broken behind the scenes, he put on a brave face on Instagram this week for his millions of adoring fans at home and abroad.
He wrote: “Obstacles can’t hold you down. If there’s a wall in your way, don’t give up. Find out how to climb it.”
PSG had reportedly been keen to avoid surgery but the player’s father, Neymar Sr, who is also the 26-year-old’s agent, had pushed for his son to have it.
The French club should comfortably cruise to Ligue 1 – they are 14 points clear of second-place Monaco with 11 games to go – but their dreams of European glory have taken a major blow.
Real Madrid lead 3-1 heading into next Tuesday’s last 16 second leg at Parc des Princes, and many will have pinned their hopes on Neymar inspiring the Parisiens to a comeback against the reigning champions.
Brazil, similarly, had been hoping that Neymar could be the beating heart of a talented squad that includes Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, Chelsea’s Willian, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and Real Madrid’s Casemiro.
The former Santos star had been cruelly denied a chance to lead Brazil to glory on home soil four years ago when injury ruled him out of their semi-final against Germany, which they lost 7-1 to the eventual champions.