Neymar injury: Brazil World Cup star close to tears as team doctor issues update on swollen ankle

Brazil’s opening World Cup victory against Serbia on Thursday night was overshadowed by an injury to star player Neymar.

Neymar (left) sits on the bench after being substituted with an injury during the win over Serbia. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Neymar (left) sits on the bench after being substituted with an injury during the win over Serbia. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Neymar received treatment for a knock on his ankle and was substituted on 79 minutes. He looked close to tears as he sat on the bench before the final whistle and limped down the tunnel at the end.

Afterwards, Brazil’s team doctor, Dr Rodrigo Lasmar, gave a press conference and confirmed that the Paris Saint-Germain striker had sprained his ankle. But he insisted that it was too early to say whether Neymar’s tournament was over. “He’s just sprained his right ankle and it’s already swollen a little,” Lasmar explained.

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“It is important to see how he will respond. We have already started the treatment and we need to be calm and patient.”

When asked specifically if Neymar’s World Cup is in doubt, Lasmar added: “It’s too early to say. You have to be calm to define how the evolution will be.”

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Neymar was fouled nine times by Serbian players during his time on the pitch – more than any other player has been fouled in the opening round of World Cup matches in Qatar.

Lasmar continued: "Neymar has an injury on his right ankle [as a result of] direct trauma. He will continue with physios and we need to wait 24-48 hours for a better assessment. No MRI is scheduled, but tomorrow there will be a new assessment. We need to wait and cannot make any premature comments.

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"He felt this pain throughout the game, but chose to stay on the pitch to help his team for 11 minutes after his injury. It's remarkable that he did this."

Brazil are now unbeaten in their opening game in each of the last 20 editions of the World Cup since losing 3-1 against Spain in 1934.

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Former player Gilberto Silva, a pundit with the BBC, was impressed with the victory. “A good victory like this shows the team are in a good shape to go for the trophy and this is important,” said the World Cup-winning defender. “The second-half showed that if Brazil avoid making mistakes at the back then the goals will come.”

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