Neymar should be fit! Tite confirms Brazil talisman likely to be available for World Cup last-16 clash against South Korea
- Forward suffered knock against Serbia
- Scans have cleared him to resume training
- Selecao preparing to face South Korea in last-16
WHAT HAPPENED? The Paris Saint-Germain superstar picked up an ankle injury during a first group stage outing in Qatar, with some rough treatment from Serbia leaving him stuck on the sidelines. Neymar has, however, been eased back into training by the Selecao medical team and is expected to play some part in the crucial knockout fixture on Monday.
WHAT THEY SAID: Tite has told reporters when delivering the latest update on the 30-year-old’s fitness: “Regarding Neymar, he’s going to practice this afternoon and if he is OK, he will play tomorrow. I don’t share any information that is not true. My answer is he will practice this afternoon, if everything goes well, he will play.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Neymar’s return could not be more timely for Brazil as they have seen Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with a knee injury suffered during a shock defeat to Cameroon. Tite added: “Arsenal have a great medical department, we have a great medical department, we feel sorry for Gabriel Jesus, Neymar and Thiago (Silva) spoke to him, they spoke to Alex (Telles). We can’t take the pain away, just try to make them feel better, to strengthen them.”
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WHAT NEXT? With scans showing that Neymar is able to step back into the Brazil fold, he will be hoping to make amends for previous outings at the 2014 World Cup and 2019 Copa America that were cut short by injury – with the modern-day great still waiting on a first senior international triumph with his country.