In the 77th minute of PSG’s routine 3-0 victory over Marseille Sunday night, a seemingly innocuous moment led to Neymar remaining on the ground while play continued around him. 10 seconds later, with Neymar still writhing in agony and in clear discomfort, PSG played the ball out so their Brazilian star could receive treatment.
Neymar was then stretchered off the field while crying inconsolably. For many, the world’s most expensive player had clearly just suffered a serious injury (perhaps a broken ankle), calling into question his participation at the World Cup.
Neymar's status for #PSG against Real Madrid will be in question after this nasty ankle injury ... pic.twitter.com/krFQTavVgG— Goal (@goal) February 25, 2018
However, the initial tests have revealed only a sprain, meaning that Neymar’s injury is nowhere near that serious. But, with PSG set to welcome Real Madrid to the Parc des Princes on Tuesday, March 6, the niggling injury could yet ruin PSG’s season.
PSG boss Unai Emery remained optimistic about his chances of returning during his post-match press conference.
“The first tests we have done show it is a sprain; we will do more medical examinations to know how serious it is,” Emery said. “If today I had to say yes or no to be fit against Real, I want to say yes. I want to be optimistic.”
The additions of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Dani Alves made a deep Champions League run a necessity for the Parisian club, but their chances of overturning a 3-1 first leg deficit without their chief creative officer are slim to none.
This morning, Neymar posted a photo of his ankle wrapped and in a splint.
Sky Sports News reported this morning that the injury will likely sideline Neymar for up to three weeks, making him unavailable for selection until mid-March.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane offered his condolences to the French club: “I don’t like it when a player hurts himself; I am not happy about the injury to Neymar. We never rejoice when a rival is absent due to injury.”
The Brazilian will certainly miss PSG’s upcoming match against Marseille in the Coupe de France on Feb. 28, as well as a trip to Troyes in Ligue 1 play on March 3. According to the three-week timeline, he'd also miss the Real Madrid game and the visit of Metz in Ligue 1 on March 10.
PSG has a 14-point lead on Monaco with 11 matches remaining.