Neymar took a beating in Brazil’s opening 1-1 draw to Switzerland. Literally; he was fouled ten times, more than any player in a single match at the World Cup since 1998.
Brazil’s next match is on Friday against Costa Rica, and thanks to that opening draw, it’s a very important one. And now Neymar is reportedly dealing with an injury severe enough to knock him out of training today.
Neymar left Brazil training on Tuesday after just 15 minutes with a right ankle injury that the team doctor said is related to a foul he suffered against Switzerland and not his recently broken right foot.
Neymar was playing keep-away with a few other players when he suddenly left the training session in Sochi. He limped as he walked away from the field toward the dressing room.
That’s obviously not good! There’s still a few days before he’s really necessary, of course, and it’s not like Neymar really needs the training session throughout the week. But considering his recent broken foot (suffered playing for PSG in February, and which ended his club season) any injury news is potentially serious.
The initial outlook is at least somewhat positive, at least if you take the brusque Brazilian team doctor’s word for it:
Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Neymar left as a precaution after feeling soreness while jogging. The superstar was set to undergo physiotherapy later in the day with an eye toward being fit for Wednesday afternoon’s training. Brazil face Costa Rica on Friday in their second Group E game as they look to claim their first win of the tournament.
“What we can do is to calm down,” Lasmar said. “A shorter workout was planned for the starters today, they’re still in a regenerative process. Neymar trained a little, felt the pain, returned to physical therapy and tomorrow trains normally.”
Whether or not he’ll be ready to play, it does seem apparent Neymar isn’t 100%, and it’s not like Costa Rica won’t be physical with him on Friday, too. But he’s also one of the biggest stars in the world, Brazil’s best player when healthy, and this is the World Cup, so sitting him isn’t exactly an option either, assuming he’s anything close to fit, and that he won’t do more serious damage simply by playing.
Hopefully he can, though; the World Cup isn’t the same without the best players.