Barcelona fans were forced to hold their collective breath when it was revealed that their new €57 million toy, Neymar, was battling some significant health problems that threatened to cut into his preseason training—and potentially early La Liga form.
Shortly after turning the Confederations Cup into his own personal practice field—four goals, two assists, countless did-he-really-just-do-that moments, one Golden Ball award—leading Brazil over Spain in the championship, and only increasing his already sky-high expectations for his debut season with Barca, Neymar underwent an operation to remove his tonsils.
That's normally not a big deal. But complications with the operation led to a bout of anemia, or in simpler terms, a low red blood cell count, which can result in fatigue or malaise.
For a player as blazingly fast, electrifying and flashy as Neymar, fatigue or a lack of fitness are pretty much the last things Barca wants heading into a title-defending season.
But a mere bout of anemia isn't enough to slow down one of the most energizing young players in the world.
Better times are on the horizon, per Fox Sports:
Neymar has admitted he has been treated for anemia during Barcelona's pre-season tour of Asia but insisted his condition has improved.
Barca have confirmed that Neymar has anemia but declared it would not prevent him from training with his team-mates, and the player confirmed he was on the mend.
Quoted in Sport at the presentation of his new Nike boots, the forward said: "I'm better. I'm receiving treatment from doctors but now I feel fine and I am ready to train. It's true that after the tonsil operation there were a few complications but now I'm feeling better."
It will be understandable if the 21-year-old burgeoning superstar takes a little longer to find his top form, but the mere fact he is returning to training before the start of the regular season is crucial.
Not only will it help him get back to full health, but it will give him some time to jell up front with Lionel Messi.
Many have expressed concerns about how Messi and the "next Messi" or "Brazilian Messi" will mesh or find enough touches between them, but it seems pretty simple: Keep the best player in the world in the center and put the dynamic Neymar on the left.
And voila, you've got arguably the most dangerous attacking duo in the world.
Neymar's health issue has just provided another reason for critics to clamor on about how he won't "work" in Barcelona. But there's no reason to fret about it, especially with this most recent report. When it comes down to it, there's no reason to believe it's a major issue.
In the end, it's Messi and Neymar, a duo that should scare the shorts off most back lines in La Liga, anemia or no anemia.