Neymar to undergo surgery; sidelined for several months

Brazil forward Neymar will be sidelined for several months as he requires surgery after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus in his left knee during their World Cup qualifier against Uruguay on Tuesday, the Brazilian FA (CBF) said.

The 31-year-old went down after tussling for the ball with Uruguay’s Nicolas de la Cruz in the 44th minute of the 2-0 defeat, holding his left leg in pain and calling for medical attention as his team mates looked on anxiously.

Neymar, who signed for Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal in August, left the pitch in tears on a stretcher after receiving treatment for several minutes and an MRI scan on Wednesday confirmed the injuries.

“The striker will undergo surgery, on a date yet to be set, to correct the injuries. The medical department of the Brazilian national team … and Al Hilal are in constant contact and are aligned in the athlete’s recovery,” CBF said in a statement on Wednesday.

Neymar’s career has been plagued with injuries. He spent three lengthy spells on the sidelines with his former club Paris St Germain after sustaining right foot injuries.

In the 2014 World Cup, he suffered a back injury in the quarter-final victory over Colombia, ruling him out of the 7-1 semi-final defeat by Germany.

At Russia 2018, injuries again hampered his dream of winning the World Cup. Early that year, Neymar suffered a sprained right ankle that affected the fifth metatarsal in his foot.

He missed 16 games for Paris St Germain at the end of the 2017-18 domestic season and was never fully fit as he played through pain for Brazil in Russia until they were knocked out by Belgium in the quarter-finals.

The forward suffered similar injuries in 2019, 2021 and at last year’s Qatar World Cup. Earlier this year, he underwent right ankle surgery that required five months of recovery, before he left PSG to sign a two year deal with Al-Hilal.

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