World Cup: Neymar, Danilo out of Brazil’s next match due to ankle injury
Neymar has been ruled out of Brazil’s match with Switzerland on Monday due to an ankle injury, the team doctor said on Friday after the Paris Saint-Germain star underwent a first set of tests.
The 30-year-old forward suffered the injury in a collision with Nikola Milenkovic during the second half of the Selecao’s 2-0 victory over Serbia in their World Cup Group G opener on Thursday.
Neymar attempted to continue but was substituted with about 10 minutes to go, shortly after Richarlison had scored his second goal with a bicycle kick to secure Brazil’s victory.
Neymar was seen limping heavily after the game in Doha and photos showed swelling on his right ankle. Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said in a video he had suffered “lateral ligament damage”.
The Brazilian football federation (CBF) said in a statement: “Neymar Junior and Danilo underwent examinations on Friday afternoon. The two players went back to the hotel to continue their treatment with the physiotherapy service.”
Right-back Danilo is believed to have an ankle strain.
After Brazil’s next game against Switzerland, their final Group G match is against Cameroon next Friday.
According to Spanish publication Sport, Neymar will be fit to return when Brazil play in the round of 16, likely on Dec 5.
Earlier, coach Tite was optimistic after the win against Serbia that the Paris Saint-Germain star would be back to lead Brazil’s bid for a record-extending sixth World Cup crown.
“You can be certain that Neymar is going to play in the World Cup,” Tite said, adding that the attacker had initially stayed on the pitch after hurting his ankle “because the team needed him”.
Brazil struggled to impose themselves in the first half against Serbia before Richarlison poked home from close range shortly after the hour mark and then produced an acrobatic finish to double the lead.
Neymar’s career has been peppered by injuries which have impacted on his previous two World Cups.
In 2014, he suffered a fractured bone in his back in the quarter-final win over Colombia, which resulted in him missing the semi-finals, where the hosts were thrashed 7-1 by Germany.
Four years later, he raced to recover from injury in time for the tournament in Russia, but Brazil never hit the expected heights before losing to Belgium in the last eight.
The former Barcelona star, who has 122 caps for Brazil, also missed the 2019 Copa America after suffering torn ligaments in his right ankle.
In 2021, Neymar was out for about 10 weeks of the French season after suffering ligament damage to his left ankle.
This time he arrived fit and firing in Qatar after a fantastic start to the season with PSG, in which he has scored 15 goals in 20 games.
Neymar needs just two goals to equal Pele’s all-time record tally of 77 for the South American nation.
Brazil boast an impressive array of attacking talent including Raphinha, Richarlison and Vinicius Jr and they were able to bring Rodrygo and Gabriel Jesus off the bench against Serbia.
But Neymar, who is playing in his third and possibly last World Cup, is the player who makes the team tick. REUTERS