Brazil’s head coach, Tite, has confirmed that star attacker Neymar will be available for Monday’s World Cup 2022 last-16 match against South Korea..
After suffering an ankle injury in their opening win over Serbia, the 30-year-old missed the Selecao’s final two Group G matches against Switzerland and Cameroon.
After scans revealed that the Paris Saint-Germain star had ankle ligament damage, there were initial fears that he would miss the rest of the tournament in Qatar.
However, Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar provided a positive update on the attacker and left-back Alex Sandro, who missed the Cameroon match due to a hip problem, on Saturday, while Danilo is also recovering well from an ankle injury..
“We think we have time on our hands with Neymar and Alex Sandro, and there is a possibility,” Lasmar told reporters.
“Let’s see how their transition goes – they have yet to start training with the ball and will do so tomorrow.” It will be important to see how they react to this new style, and we will make a decision based on that.”
Neymar, who has also been suffering from a fever, and Danilo have since returned to first-team training, and both Selecao players are set to face South Korea at Stadium 974..
At a pre-match press conference on Sunday, Tite was joined by captain Thiago Silva, and when asked if teammate Neymar would be fit to play, the defender looked at his manager, who simply replied, “Yes!”
Despite Tite’s optimism, the 61-year-old manager later stated that the attacker’s condition will be evaluated further and that he will play on Monday if he passes training without incident.
“As for Neymar, he’ll train this afternoon and, if everything goes well, he’ll play tomorrow,” Tite added.
“I never disseminate false information. My response is that he will practice this afternoon and, if all goes well, he will play.”
Neymar, who missed the previous two World Cups due to injury, is only two goals behind Brazil legend Pele (77) in the country’s all-time scoring charts, while Danilo is just three appearances away from reaching the 50-cap mark for the South American giants.
Meanwhile, Alex Sandro has yet to return to training and is questionable for Monday’s game, while Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles have been ruled out of the tournament due to knee injuries.
Thiago Silva has revealed that learning of Jesus and Telles’ injuries was a “painful moment,” but he is pleased to see Neymar, Danilo, and Alex Sandro recovering well.
“We are unequivocal.
Yesterday, before training, it was a very painful moment for me to see the boys in that situation of not being able to play with us again “Silva stated to reporters.
“The sadness is present, but our journey continues, as does theirs. It’s how we can console their hearts by doing our part.
“I wish them the best of luck in their recovery. We hope to be able to count those who return. It’s encouraging to see Danilo doing well, [Neymar] on the field, and Alex developing; they’ll all contribute significantly.”
Brazil, widely regarded as the favorite to win a record-extending sixth World Cup in Qatar, will face either Japan or Croatia in the quarter-finals if they defeat South Korea in the last 16..