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Neymar Suffers Ankle Injury vs. Qatar Ahead of Brazil's Copa America Opener

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2019

Brazil's Neymar warms up before a friendly football match against Qatar at the Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasilia on June 5, 2019, ahead of Brazil 2019 Copa America. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
EVARISTO SA/Getty Images

Brazil star Neymar was subbed off during Wednesday's friendly against Qatar with what appeared to be a bad ankle injury, according to Alex Richards of the Mirror.

He was clearly emotional while being helped off the pitch:

beIN SPORTS USA @beINSPORTSUSA

๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Bad news for @CBF_Futebol as @neymarjr left the field injured and had to be helped up the tunnel with ice wrapped on his foot. https://t.co/kdqxan5sLP

Everton replaced the forward in the 21st minute of the match with the score 1-0 at the time in favor of Brazil.

Neymar had previously injured his knee during training with the national team, but he downplayed the injury afterward in an interview with Globo, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). He was clearly healthy enough to play in an international friendly a week later.

This was Neymar's first on-field appearance after a woman told Brazilian authorities on Friday he raped her in a Paris hotel on May 15, an allegation he has denied.

Brazil is set to compete in the Copa America beginning on June 14, which, depending on the severity of the injury, could be too soon for Neymar to return.

The Selecao also have one more friendly against Honduras on Sunday if they need to test a lineup without one of their top contributors.

With other top scoring options like Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, Brazil still has a scary attack even if Neymar can't play. However, it will be a tougher road for the squad to try to bring home its first Copa America championship since 2007.