Brazil's Neymar grimaces after a challenge by Colombia's Camilo Zuniga (unseen) during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals against Colombia at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza July 4, 2014. Brazil forward Neymar has been ruled out of the World Cup after fracturing his vertebrae in the closing stages of the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia on Friday, his team said. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)Brazil's Neymar grimaces after a challenge by Colombia's Zuniga during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals against Colombia at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza
In a scary twist on the already scary injury to Neymar, it’s been revealed that the Brazil striker couldn’t feel his legs and feared he was paralyzed after taking a knee to the back in a flying challenge that ruled him out of the World Cup.
“He said: ‘I can’t feel my legs',” explained Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, speaking to Marca.
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Neymar apparently made the comment to his teammate Marcelo, who was first to arrive at his side as he lay writhing in agony on the pitch. Brazil was in the home stretch of a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Colombia, when Neymar was struck from behind by a crunching challenge from Juan Zuniga.
“Marcelo was scared and called the doctor on but the doctor couldn’t get on in the confusion,” said Scolari.
"It was a big shock, the image of Neymar being stretchered off to the helicopter, in difficulty, crying.”
Zuniga’s challenge resulted in Neymar suffering a fracture to his third vertebra. While the injury rules him out for four to six weeks, effectively ending his World Cup campaign, it could have been much worse.
[Video: Brazil reacts to Neymar injury]
“It’s not serious in the sense that it doesn’t need surgery,” said Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar to FIFA’s official website. “But he’ll need to immobilize it to recover. Unfortunately, he’s not going to be able to play.”
Neymar has been Brazil’s key player at the 2014 World Cup, scoring four goals and helping the team reach the semifinals. Although he will play no further part in the World Cup, he is expected to make a full recovery.
In addition to being without Neymar for Tuesday’s semifinal clash with Germany, Brazil will also have to make do without captain Thiago Silva, who’s been suspended for yellow card accumulation.
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