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Neymar injured his right ankle in Brazil’s World Cup victory


LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Neymar sat crying on the bench and then limped off the stadium with a swollen right ankle after Brazil’s 2-0 World Cup win over Serbia on Thursday.

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar says Neymar sprained his ankle.

“We put ice on it while he was on the bench and then in physical therapy,” Lasmar said. “There is no test planned at the moment but we will schedule it if necessary. It will be under observation. We will know more tomorrow.”

Brazil coach Tite said he was “confident Neymar will continue to play at the World Cup”, but Lasmar said it was too early to comment on the extent of the injury.

Neymar was also injured in the 2014 World Cup. Playing at home in Brazil, his tournament ended with a back injury in the quarter-finals against Colombia when he had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Brazil ended up losing to Germany 7-1 in the semi-finals.

Neymar, victim of nine fouls during the match against Serbia, was injured in the second half and was replaced in the 79th minute. Tite said he stayed on the pitch for 11 minutes before asking to be substituted.

“He overcame his injury because the team needed him,” Tite said. “I didn’t even see that he had been injured. He just kept playing.

Neymar was in tears on the bench as doctors began to treat him in the dying minutes of the game at the Lusail stadium. He pulled his shirt over his head as doctors stuck ice around his foot. He limped into the locker room, and also limped out of the stadium without speaking to reporters.

“The most important thing for us is to have him 100% for the next game,” said Brazilian striker Richarlison, who scored both goals on Thursday, including one after a surge started by Neymar. “When I get to the hotel, I’ll go see how he is.”

Neymar was tackled hard a few times during the game and was limping and grimacing before having to leave the pitch. He was the most faulty player on the pitch.

Neymar, 30, is yet to win a major title with the national team. He helped the “Seleção” win the 2013 Confederations Cup and their first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

With 75 goals for the national team, he is two behind Pelé’s goalscoring record.

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Azzoni Tales on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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