Neymar has ‘small chance’ of facing Real Madrid despite fractured foot
Despite Neymar’s sprained ankle and fractured metatarsal, Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery says there’s a “small chance” the club’s star player will be fit to face Real Madrid on March 6.
Early reports suggested the Brazilian star would require surgery, though Emery denied those claims in Tuesday’s press conference.
PSG welcome Real Madrid to the Parc des Princes next week for the return leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash, trailing the Spanish giants 3-1 following the first leg at the Bernabeu.
Neymar rolled his ankle after getting his studs caught awkwardly in the turf during Sunday’s Ligue 1 3-0 win against Marseille and was forced to leave the pitch on a stretcher in visible discomfort.
“Neymar is not going to be operated on, that’s not true,” Emery told reporters. “I talked to the doctors and we’re yet to make a decision.
“There is a small chance Neymar will be able to play against Real Madrid — we have to be patient. Neymar wants to play every game — he’s focused on Real.”
PSG are currently chasing a domestic treble.
The French giants lead Ligue 1 by 14 points, face Marseille in the quarterfinals of the Coupe de France on Wednesday and play Monaco in the final of the Coupe de France at the end of March.
World Cup woes
Brazilian football fans will also be anxious to learn the extent of Neymar’s injury with the World Cup just over three months away.
The 26-year-old missed his country’s home semifinal against Germany four years ago, a game they lost humiliatingly 7-1, after suffering a fractured vertebrae in the quarterfinal against Colombia.
Recovery time for a fractured metatarsal can be up to three months, meaning Neymar — who became the world’s most expensive footballer in August, joining PSG from Barcelona for $270 million — could return to action less than four weeks before the start of the World Cup in Russia.
His international teammate Gabriel Jesus suffered a similar injury for Manchester City last season and was sidelined for 10 weeks.