Neymar Injury: Updates on Barcelona Star's Illness and Return

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2014

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 17:  Neymar of FC Barcelona looks on during the Copa del Rey round of 32 second leg match between FC Barcelona and Cartagena at Camp Nou on December 17, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Updates from Saturday, Jan. 11

Neymar featured as a late substitute in Barcelona's 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Barca's official Twitter feed noted his introduction:

Min 67: Second sub for Barça: Neymar comes in for Alexis. #FCBLive

FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 11, 2014

---End of Update---

Barcelona star Neymar has withdrawn from Gerardo Martino's squad for the upcoming Copa Del Rey tie against Getafe, as reported by the club's official Twitter account:

The Brazilian maestro will miss the first leg of the battle for a place in the quarter-finals after suffering stomach problems in the lead up to the match.

The 21-year-old forward played just nine minutes during the side's 4-0 win over Elche on Jan. 5, per Neymar" target="_blank">WhoScored.

He will now rest on doctor's orders, according to FCB's official report.

Xavi—who had been rested from the squad—will be called up in Neymar's absence, but it's likely that one of Barca's attacking stars will benefit most from the Brazilian's illness.

Martino could opt to start Pedro, who is currently linked with Arsenal and Liverpool, as reported by Nick Lustig of the Express. He may also call upon Alexis Sanchez, who netted a hat-trick during the thrashing of Elche.

Cristian Tello has remained on the fringe of first-team football this season, but may be afforded an opportunity to impress against Luis Garcia Plaza's side.

While Marc Bartra and Dani Alves are also set to miss the clash, various absences are sure to be overshadowed by the return of Lionel Messi, per the club's official website.

Martino will be extremely confident of racking up a comfortable win in front of the Camp Nou crowd. His side thrashed Getafe 5-2 away from home at the end of December, with Pedro netting a hat-trick across nine minutes of play, per WhoScored.

Both Neymar and Messi were missing for the match, which saw Cesc Fabregas also take a leading role with two goals. As highlighted by OptaJose prior to the most recent battle between these clubs, Getafe don't boast a particularly impressive record against the Catalan giants:

Neymar will hope to overcome his illness by Jan. 11, when Barca face Atletico Madrid in La Liga at the Vicente Calderon. Martino will hope the former Santos star can recover in time, especially as both teams are currently locked on 49 points at the top of the division.