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Neymar Injury Sets Brazil Alarm Ringing

Brazil’s star forward Neymar limped off during a training session on Tuesday.Brazil’s star forward Neymar limped off during a training session on Tuesday.

Neymar hobbled out of a training session on Tuesday, setting alarm bells ringing in the Brazil camp as the team prepare for its second World Cup group game against Costa Rica on Friday.

“Neymar came out of training today with a painful right ankle,” said Vinicius Rodrigues, a spokesman for the Brazilian Football Confederation, AFP reported.

He put the knock down to the number of fouls Neymar received in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don in Brazil’s opening Group E outing.

The 26-year-old could be seen grimacing as he held his right ankle after feeling pain as he took part in a light session for those who had started that game.

Neymar had not taken part in training on Monday, as the side returned to its base in Sochi on Russia’s Black Sea coast.

Rodrigues confirmed the problem concerned the Paris Saint-Germain star’s ankle and not the foot he fractured in February, an injury that required surgery and forced him to miss the rest of the club campaign.

Neymar only made his comeback from the foot operation as a substitute in Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win against Croatia on June 3.

He scored in that game, and then made his first start since the injury, also scoring, in a 3-0 win over Austria in Vienna just before the squad, managed by Brazilian coach Tite, flew to Russia.

His return was a huge boost for the five-time world champions coming into the tournament, even if his performance on Sunday suggested that he is still some way short of his best form.

“Neymar is one of the best players in the world. Of course having him in our side is a big plus for us,” said teammate Philippe Coutinho. “He is so important.... He is always creating the play, creating space.”

While the world’s most expensive player battles to be fit for Costa Rica, Brazil traveled on Wednesday evening to Saint Petersburg, where it plays Friday’s game.

 

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