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Neymar to continue injury rehab in Brazil

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PARIS (AP) Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar will return to Brazil on Thursday to continue his recovery from a right foot injury.

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Neymar was injured playing against Strasbourg in a French Cup game in late January with a recurrence of a fifth metatarsal injury he sustained one year earlier.

League leader PSG said in a statement Wednesday evening that Neymar will continue his treatment in Brazil for about 10 days, under the supervision of members of PSG’s medical department.

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When he broke his foot last year, Brazil star Neymar had an operation in order to get back in time for the World Cup in Russia. But medical experts decided against another operation in favor of a more conservative form of treatment this time around.

Neymar was ruled out for 10 weeks and is hopeful of returning for the Champions League quarterfinals in April if PSG advances.

Neymar out 10 weeks, will miss both legs v. Man United

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Paris Saint-Germain’s worst fears have been confirmed: Neymar will miss up to 10 weeks, including both legs of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 tie against Manchester United, after suffering yet another broken metatarsal last Wednesday.

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With the first leg set to be played at Old Trafford in 13 days and the return leg in the French capital on March 6, Neymar will be set to return to action just about the time of the first leg of the quarterfinals the second week of April, should PSG advance past the Red Devils.

PSG released the following statement on Wednesday:

On Tuesday evening, Paris Saint-Germain gathered together a group of world-renowned medical experts at the Ooredoo Training Centre to carry out a thorough review of the injury to Neymar Jr.’s right foot, sustained against RC Strasbourg in the Coupe de France round of 16 match on Jan. 23.

After detailed analysis by the specialists, a consensus was reached of a conservative treatment of Neymar Jr.’s injury to the fifth right metatarsal. Informed of this recommendation, Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian international striker agreed with this protocol. As a result, Neymar Jr. is expected to return to the field within ten weeks.

Paris Saint-Germain sends its strongest support and encouragement to Neymar Jr. to overcome this injury, with the courage and determination that the player has always shown.

Neymar likely out injured for PSG v. Man United

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Whoever Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is talking to upstairs, it is working extremely well…

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After winning eight games on the trot in all competition to open up his caretaker reign at Manchester United, the Red Devils will now be boosted by the news that superstar Neymar is likely out for their UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg in a few weeks.

Neymar fractured a metatarsal in the French Cup Wednesday, and his manager at PSG Thomas Tuchel gave the following update after their 4-1 Ligue 1 win against Rennes on Sunday.

“It’s going to be very difficult, that is clear,” Tuchel told reporters. “I do not have confirmation of a new diagnosis. As I explained yesterday (Saturday), it’s too early to talk about a return date. We have to wait for the first week, which is very important, and its reaction to treatment. Only after that can we be more precise, but it’s going to be very difficult (for the United match). It is not a secret.”

The French league leaders (PSG are 11 points clear with two games in hand, casual…) have plenty of other attacking weapons to harm United’s fragile defensive unit with, as Edinson Cavani, Angel di Maria and a certain Kylian Mbappe will be tasked with finishing United off in the first leg.

But Neymar has the x-factor for Les Parisiens and if he is out, United will fancy their chances of advancing to the last eight of the UCL. A big first leg display at Old Trafford on Feb. 12 could all but end the tie, and with United flying this news will give them a further boost.

With Solskjaer setting this United side up to counter with devastating effect (see: away wins at Tottenham, Arsenal in the past two weeks), right now you may give them a slight edge against PSG.

if Jose Mourinho was still in charge and Neymar was fully fit, you would have given United a 10 percent chance of advancing past PSG.

Now? It’s about 60-40 in PSG’s favor, and probably 50-50 if Neymar isn’t ready for the first leg.

Neymar limps off in tears during PSG’s French Cup victory

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PARIS (AP) Neymar limped off with an apparent right foot injury after one hour of Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 French Cup win against Strasbourg on Wednesday.

The Brazil forward had just received the ball on the left when he raised his hand to seemingly signal to his coach Thomas Tuchel he was in pain, and looked to be in tears as he left the field at Parc des Princes.

Neymar limped heavily as he walked to the dressing room, consoled by a PSG staff member, and looked upset as he wiped his face with his right arm.

PSG confirmed that Neymar re-injured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. The club said said that the method of treatment will depend on how the problem evolves over the next few days. “All therapeutic options will be considered,” read a statement.

It was unclear how Neymar sustained his latest injury but he had been on the receiving end of a heavy tackle from midfielder Anthony Goncalves earlier in the match.

Television images then later showed Neymar rolling off his sock and pointing to the side of his right foot, which he also fractured nearly exactly one year ago while playing in the French league against Marseille.

“Neymar is worried, because it’s the same foot, the right foot, in the same area,” Tuchel said. “There’s no news for the moment, he’s gone to hospital. I need to wait for the doctor to give me news about Ney.”

Last February, Neymar cracked the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, and he underwent surgery back home in Brazil. Although he recovered in time for the World Cup last summer, he was not at his best in Russia.

Tuchel said Neymar was not protected enough on the pitch.

“The referee didn’t whistle on one occasion, then two, then three and after that he ended up twisting his foot,” Tuchel said.

But interviewed after the match by broadcaster Eurosport, Goncalves expressed no sympathy for Neymar and even suggested the injury is a direct result of how he plays.

“It’s his style. But if you play like that don’t complain if you take some knocks after,” Goncalves said. “He’s a great player, and I respect the player he is, but we’re not here so he has fun at our expense. We’re not here to make him look good.”

Goncalves suggested Neymar, who has a tendency to showboat and even toy with opposing players with his skillful trickery, lacks humility.

“If he wants to have fun, we’ll respond with the weapons we have. We have a jersey to defend. We’re not here for a laugh,” Goncalves said. “He can amuse himself, that’s his style and I think people come to watch that. But he shouldn’t come and moan about it afterward (and) he likes to do that. It’s part of his arsenal and we respond in our way.”

Strasbourg coach Thierry Laurey also said Neymar’s attitude is all wrong.

“Sometimes when you’ve gone too far, you have to face up to it,” Laurey said. “I can understand my players having enough of players who are looking to tease them, mock them. It’s right that after a while it also catches up with him. I’m all for protecting players, but there are limits. When you make a pass that comes off your back, you’re mocking a bit.”

Strasbourg defender Pablo Martinez added: “Of course he’s a marvelous player, but because of his attitude he’s not someone I like on the pitch. Apart from teasing you, he talks to you badly.”

Tuchel now faces an anxious wait as the extent of Neymar’s injury is determined.

PSG travels to play Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 match on Feb. 12 and is already sweating on the fitness of key midfielder Marco Verratti after he sprained his ankle last weekend.

Two months ago, Neymar was substituted with a groin injury during the first half of Brazil’s friendly against Cameroon on Nov. 20.

Neymar heaps praise on USMNT’s Weah ahead of Celtic loan

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Even with the caveat that they are teammates, Neymar has issued some strong words in support of new Celtic loanee Timothy Weah.

“He has everything to go and be one of the top attacking players in Europe,” Neymar said.

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The American teenager couldn’t quite break into the PSG strike corps, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani chewing up minutes and the precious few remaining sprinkled between 19-year-old Moussa Diaby (2G-5A in 536 minutes) and 21-year-old Christopher Nkunku (1G-1A in 487 minutes, mostly in midfield).

There’s zero shame in that, and Neymar is tipping Weah to not just play well in Glasgow, but to star for the Scottish leaders. From The Scottish Daily Record:

“He has the talent, we know that, but also he has a great attitude. From the first day I have met him he has wanted to learn off the players who have already won the major trophies, from the players who have already achieved big things in the game.

“He is a fun guy to be around – but also he is very humble and that is what you want to see from a young player. It’s what a coach wants to see because it means they want to learn.”

Neymar went on to say Weah has the same demeanor the Brazilian possessed as a 18-year-old.

Weah has a goal in eight caps for the USMNT, and two goals in six senior appearances for PSG.