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Brazil’s Neymar, Danilo ‘ruled out of World Cup group stage with ankle injuries’

Brazil’s Neymar, Danilo ‘ruled out of World Cup group stage with ankle injuries’

Brazil duo Neymar and Danilo are reportedly set to miss the rest of the 2022 World Cup group stage due to ankle injuries.

Both Selecao stars sustained their injuries during the second half of Brazil’s 2-0 victory against Serbia on Thursday, with Neymar withdrawn in the 80th minute, 11 minutes after being on the receiving end of a strong challenge for Nikola Milenkovic.

Neymar was seen with significant swelling round his right ankle after he left the pitch, and was later pictured with an ice pack round the injured area as the tearful forward was consoled by his teammates on the bench.

Meanwhile, Danilo picked up his own ankle problem in the closing stages of Thursday’s win and was seen hobbling off the pitch at full time.

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar revealed after the match that Neymar will undergo a scan to determine the severity of his injury, telling reporters: “Neymar had an injury on the right ankle, direct trauma.

Brazil's Neymar in action against Serbia on November 24, 2022© Reuters

“Due to the shock that he had with the knee of the Serbian player, we started immediately the treatment on the bench. He continued with the treatment with the physiotherapy.

“We need 24-48 hours to have a better understanding through the MRI. Tomorrow we will have a new assessment. Now we need to wait, we cannot make any premature comments on his evolution. We need to wait. He stayed 11 minutes on the pitch after his injury up until the point he could no longer continue.”

In the same press conference, Brazil head coach Tite expressed his confidence about Neymar playing again at the World Cup in Qatar.

“Neymar, he felt this pain throughout the game, but he decided to stay on the pitch to help the team,” Tite told reporters. “It’s remarkable that he could bear this pain while the team is playing.

“You can be sure that Neymar will play in the World Cup. You can be absolutely sure of this, Neymar will play in the World Cup.”

Despite Tite’s optimism, Brazilian news outlet Globo Esporte claims that both Neymar and Danilo have been ruled out of the Selecao’s final two Group G fixtures.

Brazil's Danilo pictured on November 24, 2022© Reuters

The report adds that Neymar has suffered lateral ligament damage to his right ankle as well as a small bone edema, while Danilo has a medial ligament injury to his left ankle.

Brazil are due to face Switzerland in their next Group G contest on Monday, before taking on Cameroon in their final group fixture on December 2.

While Neymar – who has scored 75 goals in 122 international appearances for Brazil – will be a significant loss to Tite’s side, the five-time world champions have plenty of strength in depth in the attacking department, with the likes of Rodrygo, Antony, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus all in contention to replace the PSG star on Monday after beginning on the bench against Serbia.

As for Danilo, the most likely candidate to replace the Juventus right-back is 39-year-old Dani Alves, who will become Brazil’s oldest-ever player at the World Cup if he gets a run-out in Qatar.

Brazil will all but secure their place in the last 16 of the World Cup if they claim all three points against Switzerland, who beat Cameroon 1-0 in their opening group fixture.

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