Brazil won its World Cup opener on Thursday, but it may have come at a significant cost.
Neymar was the recipient of nine fouls in a 2-0 win over Serbia and sustained an injury to his right ankle. Afterward, his ankle was visibly and severely swollen. Brazil's team doctor later confirmed that he had sprained it.
Neymar's ankle after Brazil's FIFA World Cup opener 😳 pic.twitter.com/BK6rZIdRaP
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2022
Germany's DW Sports reports that he'll undergo testing on Friday to determine the severity of the injury, leaving his status for Monday's second group stage game against Switzerland and beyond unclear.
Neymar left the game Thursday in the 80th minute after a tackle by Nikola Milenkovic. He received ice treatment on the sideline and was seen burying his face in his jersey. Brazil held on for the 2-0 victory as its best player watched on the sideline in the game's final minutes. Neymar limped to the locker room with his swollen ankle exposed.
Brazil's team doctor confirmed the ankle sprain and said that the swelling needed to subside before the team could make an accurate assessment of the injury.
“Neymar has a sprain on the right ankle," the doctor said, per The Athletic. "We started treatment immediately but we need to wait 24 hours to have a better assessment. We have nothing else scheduled. Now we need to wait and we cannot make any premature comments.”
Brazil's manager Tite maintained optimism that the injury wouldn't sideline Neymar.
“We are confident that Neymar will continue playing, that he will continue playing in the World Cup,” Tite said.
This isn't the first World Cup injury for Neymar. He was knocked out of the 2014 World Cup in his home country after a knee to his back left him with a fractured vertebrae.
Neymar is one of the world's best players. Any time missed by injury would be a blow to Brazil's World Cup hopes.