SOCHI: Neymar hobbled out of a training session on Tuesday, setting alarm bells ringing in the Brazil camp as they prepare for their second World Cup group game against Costa Rica on Friday.
“Neymar came out of training today with a painful right ankle,” said Vinicius Rodrigues, a spokesman for the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).
He put the the knock down to the number of fouls Neymar received in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don in Brazil’s opening Group E outing.
The 26-year-old could be seen grimacing as he held his right ankle after feeling pain as he took part in a light session for those who had started that game.
Neymar had not taken part in training on Monday, as the side returned to their base in Sochi on Russia’s Black Sea coast.
Rodrigues confirmed the problem concerned the Paris Saint-Germain star’s ankle and not the foot he fractured in February, an injury that required surgery and forced him to miss the rest of the club campaign.
“As soon as he felt the pain he went to the physio. He will stay there for today and tomorrow [Wednesday] morning, and will train as normal tomorrow,” added Rodrigues.
Neymar only made his comeback from the foot operation as a substitute in Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over Croatia on June 3.
He scored in that game, and then made his first start since the injury, also scoring, in a 3-0 win over Austria in Vienna just before Tite’s squad flew to Russia.
Brazil, the 2002 World Cup winners, are due to travel on Wednesday to Saint Petersburg, where they will play Friday’s game in the FIFA World Cup.
Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2018