For the second season in a row, Paris Saint-Germain talisman Neymar has picked up an injury at the worst possible time for the French champions.
With the Ligue 1 title all but wrapped up, PSG have all their attention on a crucial Champions League last 16 clash against Manchester United, but they will be without the world’s most expensive player when they take on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
The Brazilian, who signed from Barcelona in the summer of 2017 for a world-record €222 million fee, is likely to miss 10 weeks of action with his return expected in early April. But how severe is Neymar’s injury and what games will he miss?
How severe is Neymar’s injury?
On Wednesday, January 30 it was confirmed that Neymar will be sidelined for an estimated two and a half months, which is PSG’s worst nightmare as they have Champions League games against a rejuvenated Manchester United coming up on February 12 and March 6.
His club released a statement about the injury saying: “After detailed analysis by the specialists, a consensus was reached of a conservative treatment of Neymar’s injury to the fifth right metatarsal. As a result, Neymar is expected to return to the field within 10 weeks.
“Paris Saint-Germain sends its strongest support and encouragement to Neymar to overcome this injury, with the courage and determination that the player has always shown.”
The injury is unlikely to affect Neymar’s style of play on his return to action as it is a broken bone rather than a muscle or tendon related problem, however it is the second time in 12 months Neymar has been out with a broken metatarsal which raises the question of this becoming a recurring problem.
Barring an absolute disaster, PSG should still be able to wrap up the Ligue 1 title without the help of Neymar. They currently have a 13-point lead at the top of the table with two games in hand on their closest challengers Lille.
Games Neymar will miss for PSG
|Feb 3||Lyon vs PSG||Ligue 1|
|Feb 6||Villefranche vs PSG||Coupe de France|
|Feb 9||PSG vs Bordeaux||Ligue 1|
|Feb 12||Man Utd vs PSG||Champions League|
|Feb 17||Saint-Etienne vs PSG||Ligue 1|
|Feb 20||PSG vs Montpellier||Ligue 1|
|Feb 13||PSG vs Nimes||Ligue 1|
|Mar 2||Caen vs PSG||Premier League|
|Mar 6||PSG vs Man Utd||Champions League|
|Mar 9||Nantes vs PSG||Ligue 1|
|Mar 13||Dijon vs PSG||Ligue 1|
|Mar 17||Marseille vs PSG||Ligue 1|
|Mar 31||Toulouse vs PSG||Ligue 1|
|Apr 6||PSG vs Strasbourg||Ligue 1|
What injuries has Neymar suffered in the past?
The 26-year-old broke his metatarsal last February which saw him miss 15 games for PSG including their Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.
The most famous instance of Neymar being sidelined was in the 2014 World Cup where he suffered a fractured vertabra in the quarter-final against Colombia whilst representing Brazil.
The Brazilian has consistently missed games due to an adductor problem throughout his career, although this problem has never kept him out for an extended period.