Doha: Neymar will miss Brazil’s final group match at the World Cup due to a right ankle injury. The team doctor gave this information on Tuesday.
Rodrigo Lassmar said the Brazil forward will not be able to recover in time to face Cameroon in Friday’s Group G game.
Neymar missed Monday’s game against Switzerland, as Brazil won 1-0 to seal their place in the last 16. A draw against Cameroon would be enough for Brazil to top the group.
Lassiter did not give a timetable on Neymar’s return, nor did he say whether the player would return. However, Brazil’s coaching staff reiterated on Tuesday that the Paris Saint-Germain forward was expected to play again at the tournament in Qatar.
Neymar, who damaged ligaments in his ankle during Brazil’s opening match against Serbia, was the only player who did not attend Stadion 974 to watch the match against Switzerland. He stayed at the team hotel for physiotherapy treatment.
Lassmar said Neymar also had a fever on Monday, which was “under control” and would not affect the treatment of his ankle.
Lassemer said right back Danilo, who is also nursing an ankle injury, and left back Alex Sandro, who had to miss Monday’s match with a hamstring injury, also would not play against Cameroon.
Danilo was injured in the team’s opener last week and missed the match against Switzerland. Alex Sandro suffered an injury in the final minutes of Brazil’s win against the Swiss and was replaced by Alex Telles. Tests conducted on Tuesday revealed a hamstring injury in his left hip. Lassmar also did not provide expected recovery times for Danilo and Alex Sandro.
In Monday’s starting lineup, Tite replaced Neymar with Fred and Danilo with Eder Militão.
The coach has yet to announce who will play on Friday but is expected to rotate players with the draw against Cameroon being enough to secure first place. If Brazil remains in first place, the last-16 match will take place only three days later. Brazil’s opponents will come from Group H, which includes Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana.
Neymar, who is seeking to win his first major title with Brazil, is two goals short of Pelé’s all-time record of 77 with the national team.
His right ankle also kept him out of the 2019 Copa America in Brazil. Five years ago, he was ruled out of the World Cup in Brazil after injuring his back in the quarter-finals against Colombia.
On Tuesday, Brazil complained about field conditions at Stadium 974, where they could return for the round of 16 if they finish first in their group. The team said it would ask FIFA to take action and ensure that the condition of the grass at the venue is improved.