Neymar was in tears on Brazil’s bench after he was forced off with an ankle injury during the 2-0 win over Serbia in their World Cup opener on Thursday evening.
Two goals from Richarlison got Brazil’s World Cup campaign in Qatar off to a flying start, but one of the tournament favourites now face an anxious wait after their talisman was forced off in the closing stages of the second half.
Neymar was fouled nine times during the game against Serbia – more than any other player on the pitch – and he even played on for 12 minutes after he suffered the challenge which caused the damage to his ankle.
After being substituted with 10 minutes remaining, Neymar was treated by two physios on the bench but the 30-year-old’s pain was evident as he covered his face with his jersey while he was being consoled by his Brazil teammates.
After the match, photographers near Brazil’s bench captured the immediate swelling to Neymar’s right ankle.
Neymar was also seen visibly limping as he made his way back to Brazil’s dressing room.
Speaking after the game, Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar insisted it is too early to determine whether Neymar will miss the rest of the World Cup with his injury.
‘He’s just sprained his right ankle and it’s already swollen a little,’ Lasmar said.
‘It is important to see how he will respond. We have already started the treatment and we need to be calm and patient.’
When asked if Neymar’s World Cup is in doubt, Lasmar said: ‘It’s too early to say.
Brazil, who sit top of Group G after their win against Serbia, are next in action against Switzerland on Monday.
‘You have to be calm to define how the evolution will be.’
They will then play their final group game next Friday against Cameroon.
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