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Brazil get FIFA World Cup 2018 boost as Neymar to return in ‘two, three weeks’

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar will be back “in two to three weeks,” the club’s coach Unai Emery said on Friday.

football Updated: Mar 30, 2018 23:30 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Bordeaux
Brazil football team,Paris Saint-Germain,Neymar
Neymar, recovering in Brazil after his right foot injury, will return "in two, three weeks" to Paris, said PSG coach Unai Emery, on March 30, 2018 on the eve of the final of France's Coupe de la Ligue. (AFP)

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, who is convalescing in Brazil after surgery on his injured right foot, will be back “in two to three weeks,” the club’s coach Unai Emery said on Friday.

“I spoke with him this week, he’s good, relaxed,” Emery said.

Emery was speaking in Bordeaux where PSG, shorn of their biggest star, face Monaco on Saturday in the French League Cup final.

“We spoke about the final,” Emery said. “He’s going to follow the game.”

Neymar, who is crucial to Brazil’s hopes at the World Cup which starts in Russia on June 14, was hurt on February 25 against Marseille and returned to Brazil for treatment.

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He missed the second-leg defeat to Real Madrid on March 6, which eliminated PSG from the Champions League.

Brazil’s national team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, performed surgery on March 3 and then estimated that Neymar would be out for “two-and-a-half to three months.”

That time frame would have meant Neymar’s PSG season was over. But for the striker, who was injured during the last World Cup and missed Brazil’s traumatic 7-1 semi-final loss to Germany, the objective was to be fully fit for this year’s competition.

PSG and the Brazilian football federation plan to assess Neymar’s health again in mid-April.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi visited Neymar’s bedside in Brazil in mid-March, partly to quash rumours that the star would be leaving Paris a year after his high-profile arrival for a world-record 222 million euros ($264 million) last summer.

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“The doctors aren’t yet in a position to say exactly when he will return,” Al-Khelaifi said at the time.

On Friday, Monaco defender Kamil Glik told a press conference that PSG will miss Neymar “but that doesn’t change much for us.”

“There are other top-quality players,” Glik said. “We know what we have to do to win this trophy.”

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 23:13 IST