Updates from Wednesday, Feb. 12
Neymar is expected to confirm his fitness ahead of Barcelona's Champions League tie with Manchester City, although boss Gerardo Martino refused to put a date on the Brazilian's return.
The Daily Mail quotes Martino saying:
He (Neymar) trained well, he has no pain and physically he is in very good shape. We will see what happens between this game (against Real Sociedad), the Rayo game and the Manchester game.
As I have said before, for me if there is a very important match coming up that everyone is talking about, his presence or otherwise does not have the Manchester match as the target.
It could be before, it could be after. In any case, it will be when we consider it to be the right time and when we are taking the least risk with the player's future.
Updates from Monday, Feb. 10
Barcastuff posted an image on Twitter of Neymar at training:
Updates from Friday, Jan. 31
Neymar has returned to training with Barcelona and is expected to be back in action within two weeks.
Barca's official website provided the update:
Neymar Jr trained on Friday morning in the company of physio Juanjo Brau, the first time the Brazilian has been seen on a football field since getting injured 15 days ago against Getafe.
If all goes to plan, the striker should be back playing again in one or two week’s time.
Updates from Wednesday, Jan. 29
Barcelona are hopeful Neymar will be fit enough to return in time for their Champions League clash with Manchester City.
Selecao Brasileira tweets the following:
Neymar has already stopped using crutches, and is walking without any difficulty. Barcelona hope he can start against M.City. #UCL [Globo]— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) January 29, 2014
Updates from Friday, Jan. 17
After Barcelona recovered results from Neymar's scan on Friday, it appears initial speculation regarding his ankle was accurate.
The club's official Twitter account reports:
“What a scare! At that time I thought it could be a serious injury, I thought about my plans for 2014 … But Jesus, again, was with me and it was just a scare. I want to thank everyone who prayed for me and don’t worry. I’m going to do everything right and will be back soon. We are together … That’s everything.”
Barcelona forward Neymar exited the second leg of the club's Copa del Rey matchup versus Getafe during the first half.
Barcelona revealed that the injury has been ruled a sprained tendon in his ankle:
Neymar sprained the peroneal tendon in his right ankle. He will undergo additional tests tomorrow. #FCBLive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 16, 2014
AS.com reports that he is expected to miss three weeks:
Catalan radio saying Neymar likely to be out for 3 weeks, pending tomorrow's tests.— AS English (@English_AS) January 16, 2014
World football writer Jerrad Peters was the first to report the injury, noting that Alexis Sanchez would enter the game for the Barcelona star:
Neymar, who has been receiving treatment after twisting his ankle, is about to come off for Alexis Sanchez.— Jerrad Peters (@jerradpeters) January 16, 2014
Neymar sustained the injury in the 23rd minute while trying to save a ball from crossing the out of bounds line. As he planted his right leg and successfully deflected the ball off a Getafe player, Neymar's ankle gave out and twisted in an awkward fashion.
In obvious pain on the pitch, the injury appeared serious as he was being tended to by trainers. Though he attempted to put weight on the leg, he was unable and had to be stretchered off to the locker room for further evaluation.
The scene on the field proved concerning with the entire weight of Neymar's body contorting his leg, but it's still at least possible that he will avoid a long-term absence.
Should Neymar be held out for any considerable amount of time, it would be a crushing blow for the La Liga side. The Brazilian forward, 21, was Barcelona's biggest signing of the summer transfer period, costing the 2012-13 league champions €57.1 million.
Though still working to acclimate himself to a higher level of competition, Neymar has become an integral cog in Barcelona's attack. He has six goals and eight assists in 16 La Liga appearances and has added three goals and two assists during Champions League play.
Barcelona are currently tied with Atletico Madrid atop La Liga standings with 50 points, but hold a five-goal advantage in differential. Losing Neymar for any extended period could cause the club to lose their grip on the table or even cause an earlier-than-expected ouster from the Champions League. Barcelona return from break to play Manchester City on Feb. 18 in the first match of a home-and-home series.
Neymar's absence is highly unlikely to affect Barcelona's Copa del Rey prospects, as they already held an aggregate 4-0 advantage going into Thursday's game. The Brazilian national team will also be waiting on bated breath to hear of Neymar's status, as he is expected to star at the 2014 World Cup.
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