Neymar has re-injured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, the same injury that kept him out for nearly three months last spring, Paris Saint-Germain has confirmed.
“The first examinations carried out revealed a painful reactivation of the lesion of the fifth right metatarsal,” PSG said through the club’s official website, translated from French. “The treatment will depend on the evolution in the coming days. All therapeutic options should be considered.”
The Brazilian superstar left his club’s Coupe de France match on Wednesday after being tackled by Strasbourg midfielder Moataz Zemzemi around the hour mark. He was in tears limping off the pitch and was taken to a hospital for examination.
PSG won the match thanks to goals from Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria to advance to the Round of 16. But it’s another Round of 16 match that’s been thrown sharply into focus.
The French giants face Manchester United in 20 days in the first leg of the Champions League knockout stages, and it’s very possible Neymar could miss the fixture. A fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot cost Neymar 15 games over 11 weeks last season, and he’s already battling a groin injury that kept him out for much of November and December.
On a broader scale, Neymar’s world-record transfer in summer 2017 was meant to be the centerpiece as PSG scaled club football’s most hallowed ground, the Champions League. With his health status in doubt, not to mention midfield fulcrum Marco Verratti expecting to miss time and a red-hot opponent in United, that mountain just got much steeper to climb.
PSG manager Thomas Tuchel, for his part, thinks the referee did not blow the whistle quickly enough on Zemzemi’s persistent and borderline challenges that seem to have resulted in Neymar’s injury.
“The referee did not whistle after one tackle, then a second, then a third,” Tuchel said, per The Guardian. “After that, he has twisted his foot.”
Neymar has 20 goals and nine assists in 21 matches across all competitions this season.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Paylor: Chiefs’ Reid facing biggest decision of his career
• Harassed NFL refs moved from hotel after bad call
• Wetzel: For St. Louis, this is a nightmare Super Bowl
• NFL prospect chooses Senior Bowl over child’s birth