Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | XINHUA | Brazil forward Neymar could still play in Brazil’s opening 2022 World Cup qualifier against Bolivia on Friday despite a back problem that has left him unable to train, team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said on Thursday.
Neymar was limited to physiotherapy on Thursday after limping off the pitch at Brazil’s Granja Comary training base in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janeiro, on Wednesday.
“He was unable to train because of pain in his lower back,” Lasmar told a virtual news conference. “He’s shown a small improvement today, but it is important to consider that less than 24 hours have passed [since the injury]. He’s traveled by bus and plane to be here, which has made treatment difficult.
“Today, he is unable to train. We will wait until tomorrow [Friday] to give a definitive answer to [head coach] Tite.”
Neymar’s possible withdrawal from Friday’s fixture at Corinthians Arena would likely provide a starting opportunity for Benfica forward Everton Soares.
Brazil will also play Peru in another World Cup qualifier in Lima next Tuesday.