Neymar injury: Brazil star could miss first South American World Cup qualifier vs. Bolivia with back pain
Neymar is with the Brazilian national team as 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying for CONMEBOL gets underway this week, but the PSG attacker may not feature in the opener due to injury. He is dealing with back pain which could see him miss Friday’s opener against Bolivia in Sao Paulo.
Flamengo’s Everton Ribeiro was in the first team for Wednesday’s training session and Tite confirmed on Thursday that he will start if Neymar is unavailable. Neymar flew with the team to Sao Paulo for Friday’s match but is unable to practice on Thursday.
The national team’s doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said he has been receiving treatment, and has seen minor improvements, but that it is too soon to tell whether will be available. Neymar was seen on video putting his hand on his back and keeling on the field.
Without Neymar, the Copa America champs should still take all three points against the Bolivians, though Tite’s team is also down two key players in goalkeeper Alisson (Liverpool) and striker Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).
After Friday’s match against Bolivia, Brazil will travel to Lima to face off against Copa America finalist Peru. All South American qualifiers for October are being played without fans as the continent continues to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
CBS Sports will have more on his injury situation as information becomes available.