Brazil superstar Neymar sprained his right ankle in his side’s opening World Cup match – a 2-0 win over Serbia – on Thursday, Brazilian team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed last night in a post-game press conference.
Lasmar said that the team had already begun treating Neymar and would have more clarity in 24 to 48 hours.
“It was a direct trauma where the knee of a Serbian player made a movement that caused the sprain,” Lasmar added.
“He presented with some swelling of the ankle. We started treatment immediately, including on the bench. He is still in physio treatment now. And we will have to wait 24 to 48 hours before we have a clearer picture of the player’s situation.”
The Paris Saint-Germain forward was substituted with 10 minutes remaining after going down under a challenge, and Neymar looked emotional once he got to the bench, sitting down and covering his face with his shirt.
Cameras caught Neymar looking down at his ankle, which appeared to be very swollen as he made his way off the pitch.
It will no doubt be a huge concern to Brazil – and football fans around the world – whose chances of success would decrease considerably without its star man.
Before he departed injured, Neymar had already displayed his class, creating Brazil’s first goal when he danced through the Serbia defense to set up a chance for Vinícius Jr., whose shot was saved and fell to Tottenham’s Richarlison to finish for the first of his two on the night.
Brazil began this World Cup as the favorite to win its first World Cup since 2002, with a 20% chance of winning the tournament according to Nielsen’s Gracenote, after losing just three times in 50 matches since it was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup by Belgium.
Neymar will face a race to be back to full fitness by the time Brazil plays Switzerland in its next Group G match on November 28.