Neymar suffers ankle sprain in Brazil win against Serbia


Neymar grabs his ankle after an injury during match between Brazil and Serbia. AP

Doha: Brazil captain Neymar suffered a sprained ankle in his side’s World Cup win over Serbia on Thursday and will face surgery within the next 48 hours, the national team doctor said after the match.

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Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said the Brazilian superstar suffered the injury after a collision with his opponent.

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Neymar was substituted in the 79th minute of Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia.

“We have to wait 24 to 48 hours to get a better assessment,” Lasmar said. “We have no MRI scheduled and tomorrow we will have a new assessment.

“We have to wait, we cannot make any premature comments about his evolution.”

Neymar was seen limping heavily after the game while pictures of the striker showed swelling on his right ankle.

Coach Tite said the Paris Saint-Germain player initially stayed on the field after injuring his ankle “because the team needed him”.

He also moved to play down fears the 30-year-old could face a layoff long enough to end his World Cup campaign.

“You can be sure that Neymar will play in the World Cup,” he said.

A dejected-looking Neymar refused to speak to reporters as he left the stadium on Thursday.

Neymar needs just two goals to equal Pele’s record tally of 77 for Brazil.

His first World Cup in 2014 ended in agony when he suffered a broken bone in his back in Brazil’s quarter-final win over Colombia.

Without him, the hosts suffered a humiliating 7-1 defeat against Germany in the semi-finals.

Four years on, Neymar had to race to recover from injury in time to be fit for the tournament in Russia, but Brazil never reached the heights expected of them as they lost to Belgium in the last eight.

The Brazilian talisman also missed the 2019 Copa America after suffering torn ligaments in his right ankle.

In 2021, Neymar missed around 10 weeks of the French season after suffering ligament damage to his left ankle following an injury in PSG’s win over Saint Etienne.

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