Paris Saint-Germain purred in Neymar’s absence on Sunday as Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi combined to devastating effect in their 3-0 victory over Marseille.
The Brazilian is poised for a lengthy period on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury against Lille the week before. The superstar forward faces a race against time to be fit for PSG’s all-important Champions League round of 16 second leg against Bayern Munich, and the early signs suggest a return for this fixture is unlikely.
Poor PSG will likely have to manage with just Mbappe and Messi in attack at the Allianz Arena as they attempt to overturn a 1-0 deficit.
Here’s the latest on Neymar’s recovery.
Neymar was stretchered off early in the second half of PSG’s chaotic 4-3 victory over Lille on 19 February, having already scored and provided an assist.
While scans later showed that he hadn’t sustained a fracture, they did reveal a sprain.
PSG boss Christophe Galtier wasn’t overly sympathetic when he spoke about Neymar’s injury in the wake of the Brazilian’s diagnosis.
“This is not bad luck,” Galtier said when asked an update on Neymar’s condition. “There are always reasons for injuries – the schedule, the sequence of games. It is never random. He is being examined to know the severity of his sprain.
“Of course, it complicates things and that’s the way it is. We have to keep our heads down. We’re going to do it again, but with a victory. That is more pleasant.”
Galtier is yet to provide a time frame for when Neymar could return to action.
There have been little to no updates on when Neymar could return to action. However, it seems unlikely that he’ll be fit for the trip to Bayern on 8 March. By that time, he would’ve been out for just two-and-a-half weeks.
Neymar’s expected to be out for at least a month, but nothing has been confirmed.
PSG’s Ligue 1 clash with Rennes arrives exactly a month after he sustained the injury, so that’s a possible return date for the Brazilian. However, if the club opts against rushing the superstar back, Neymar could wait until after the international break to make his return.
Les Parisiens take on Lyon on 2 April.