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Soccer-Neymar out for up to four weeks with ankle injury

Reuters

MADRID, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Barcelona's Brazil forward Neymar will be sidelined for three to four weeks after a scan confirmed he had damaged tendons in his right ankle, the La Liga leaders said on Friday.

Neymar had to be replaced midway through the first half of Thursday's 2-0 King's Cup last 16, second-leg win at Getafe, which sent Barca through to the quarter-finals 6-0 on aggregate, and he was on crutches when he returned to the Catalan capital from Madrid on Friday morning.

The injury was the latest setback for the 21-year-old, who had not started a match since Christmas due to a lack of fitness and a stomach bug.

"Tests conducted this morning confirmed that the player Neymar Jr. has a sprained right ankle," Barca said in a statement on their website (www.fcbarcelona.es).

"The approximate period of time he will be out is three to four weeks," they added.

Neymar should be back for Barca's Champions League last 16, first leg at Manchester City on Feb. 18 but he will miss Sunday's La Liga game at Levante as well as this month's two-legged Cup quarter-final, also against the Valencia-based side.

Before they play City in Europe's elite club competition, Barca have La Liga matches against Malaga, Valencia, Sevilla and Rayo Vallecano and the club said he would definitely miss the Malaga and Valencia games. (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond)

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