Neymar injury update: PSG star stretchered off against Marseille

By @saihoops on
Neymar injury update, Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar
Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain vs Olympique de Marseille - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - February 25, 2018 Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar lies on the pitch after sustaining an injury Reuters / Stephane Mahe

Paris Saint-Germain star forward Neymar was stretchered off the Parc des Princes on Sunday (Monday AEDT) during the team's 3-0 home victory over rivals Olympique de Marseille. Although PSG inched closer to their first French Ligue 1 championship since 2015–16, Neymar injured his right ankle in the 77th minute.

The Brazilian, initially doubtful to play the Le Classique clash due to an illness, was named a starter at the last minute. He contributed two goals in the match as PSG extended their Ligue 1 lead to 14 points.

The injury occurred in the 76th minute when Neymar got tangled up with Marseille midfielder Bouna Sarr. After landing awkwardly on his ankle, Neymar appeared to be in tears before he was carried off the pitch.

There is legitimate concern that Neymar would be ruled out of action for a lengthy period. He will miss PSG's crucial second-leg clash against Real Madrid in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. PSG will attempt to overturn their 3-1 deficit against Madrid, the reigning champions, on March 7.

Neymar injury update: Emery plays down severity

Though PSG manager Unai Emery played down the injury after the match, several media outlets in France reported Monday that Neymar could potentially miss most of 2018.

"If I had to pick my Real Madrid side now, I would say that Neymar could feature. The first look says it is a sprain. There will be further tests to be totally sure. We are optimistic," Emery told a news conference. 

Thiago Silva, captain of Paris Saint-Germain, acknowledged the severity of losing his fellow Brazilian teammate. "We lost a very important player before the end in Neymar, and his ankle had already started to swell."

Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola believes PSG is prepared to cope with injuries, even to star players such as Neymar. "He is an important player and we all hope that he will be back quickly. However, I am not a doctor and I do not know how long it will take him to return and if it will be soon. Every player is important and we know that we have the necessary quality to deal with inevitable injuries."

PSG and Marseille will face again Wednesday (Thursday AEDT) in the quarterfinals of the Coupe de France. Last year, Neymar left Barcelona for PSG in a world-record transfer move. The 25-year-old Neymar has formed a lethal duo with teenage star Kylian Mbappe at PSG. Many soccer analysts believe Neymar, Mbappe and Edinson Cavani is currently best forward trio in the world. Stay tuned for the latest Neymar injury update.