The Ligue 1 leaders’ Champions League hopes have taken a heavy blow after their star was diagnosed with a cracked metatarsal.
Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar faces a month on the sidelines with a foot and ankle injury, all but ruling him out of his side’s Champions League test against Real Madrid.
The Brazilian was a late casualty in Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash with Marseille, in which the French leaders ran out 3-0 winners. Neymar was left in tears after tangling with Marseille’s Bouna Sarr, with all signs pointing toward a damaged ankle.
While preliminary tests ruled out a fracture or serious sprain in the joint on Sunday evening, subsequent examinations revealed he has fractured a metatarsal bone in his foot.
“Complementary examinations performed today (ultrasound and CT) confirmed an external sprain of the right ankle but also the associated existence of a fracture in the fifth metatarsal,” a statement released by PSG on Monday confirmed.
PSG did not provide a timeline for Neymar’s return, but the injury typically requires a minimum of one month on the sidelines — essentially confirming he will not be able to take part in PSG’s bid for Champions League revenge against the Blancos.
Unai Emery’s men trail 3-1 from the first leg of their last 16 clash, despite taking the lead at the Santiago Bernabeu through Adrien Rabiot’s early goal.
And the news that their Brazilian talisman is missing comes as a massive blow as they seek to make the quarter-finals in a game scheduled for March 6 at Parc des Princes.
On Sunday, Emery had voiced his hopes that the world’s most expensive player would make it back in time for the blockbuster clash.
“The first exams reveal a twist,” Emery said. “We’re going to do some extra medical tests.
“We’re optimistic. For his participation in the match against Real, if I had to say yes or no, I would say yes.”
Speaking to reporters after the game, meanwhile, Sarr denied intending to hurt Neymar.
“I saw only one thing is that I played the ball,” Sarr said.
“I didn’t go at all with the intention of doing it. This is not my type of game at all. Apparently he twisted his ankle. It’s unfortunate for him, but it’s a game fact like any other.”
Neymar posted an injury update to his Instagram story early on Monday, displaying his heavily strapped ankle to his 90 million followers.
In addition to Neymar’s injury, PSG confirmed centre-back Marquinhos suffered a thigh injury against Marseille.