Neymar’s dad says PSG superstar out for six to eight weeks
He's the most expensive footballer on the planet, and he's set to star at this year's World Cup, but Neymar's plans have been thrown into disarray with the Brazilian in injury trouble.
So says his dad, who has contradicted PSG club officials trying to keep a lid on concerns about their superstar striker, who broke a bone in his foot and sprained his ankle on Sunday.
Neymar suffered the injury during a 3-0 Ligue 1 win over Paris Saint Germain's arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille, and the Brazilian was in tears as he was carried off the pitch at Parc de Princes.
His father said the damage was such that Neymar would definitely miss next week's Champions League encounter against Real Madrid.
"PSG know that they won't have Neymar in the next few games and that they won't have Neymar for the next six weeks at least," he told ESPN Brasil.
"Because this treatment is going to take six to eight weeks, we know that, whether it is surgery or conventional, it will be six or eight weeks."
Neymar Sr said his son and the French club were waiting to see the Brazil's national team doctor before deciding whether or not the forward needed surgery.
Brazil's most important player in recent years, Neymar is a key part of the squad that will head to the World Cup finals in Russia in June.
"They will decide together," Neymar Sr said. "It is a difficult time for us.
"We don't want to be in this situation. But we have to accept it and help Neymar as best we can."
The comments made live on air to a sports talk show contradicted those of Paris St Germain manager Unai Emery, who had said the 26-year old could be ready for the season-defining clash against Madrid.
PSG smashed the transfer record when they paid Barcelona 222 million euros ($348.5 million) for the Brazilian's services last August.
Neymar has scored 28 goals and provided 16 assists for PSG this season, but his absence could be vital as the French side try to overcome a 3-1 deficit against Real Madrid in next week's Champions League last-16, second-leg game in Paris.
In the Champions League, Neymar has scored six times in seven games for Les Parisiens, including a goal in a win over Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and two goals in a 7-1 crushing of Celtic, both in the group stages.
PSG lead the French Ligue 1 by 14 points from their nearest rivals Monaco with 11 games left, and they are the hottest of favourites to win their fifth league title in six seasons.
However, a failure to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League could see the club's season ruled as a bust after their ambitious move for Neymar.