Neymar knows he faces a lengthy recovery for his serious knee injury, according to Brazil’s national team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar.
The Al Hilal forward underwent successful surgery to repair anterior cruciate ligaments and meniscus injuries in his left knee on Nov. 2 in Brazil.
No recovery estimate was given but Brazil’s Football Confederation (CBF) is hopeful Neymar, 31, will be back in time for the 2024 Copa America, which takes place in the United States between June 20 and July 14.
“Neymar has been recovering very well,” Lasmar, who performed the player’s surgery, said on Monday.
“Yesterday [Sunday] I was with the player for a new post-operative assessment, already scheduled. He is recovering very well, of course, still in the initial phase. It’s a complex injury, he ruptured a ligament and needs to be off his feet for a while. Due to the associated injuries, he will go through a lengthy rehabilitation process, he is aware of that. But he has been responding very well, we are satisfied.”
Neymar, who joined Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal in the summer in a €90 million transfer from PSG, got hurt in Brazil’s World Cup qualifying defeat to Uruguay in October. Brazil’s all-time men’s top scorer, Neymar has faced lengthy spells out injured.
The former Barcelona star has suffered a number of right ankle and foot injuries in the past, which forced him to miss six weeks of action in 2021 and Brazil’s victorious 2019 Copa America campaign. Injuries have limited Neymar to just 17 appearances for club and country this year. In February, while on the books of Paris Saint-Germain, he injured his ankle and was out of action for five months.
“It’s very important that he understands the serious injury he suffered,” Lasmar said.
“He’s had other injuries and situations before, this was his third surgery. I participated in the other two, they were shorter periods. This time it is the most serious injury, it takes more time, so we need him to be very focused and dedicated to recovery. He is following everything we propose.”
Lasmar, meanwhile, has reassured Arsenal fans that Gabriel Jesus will not be rushed back from his hamstring injury.
The Arsenal forward was surprisingly included in Brazil’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers at Colombia on Thursday and against Argentina on Nov. 21.
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta suggested Gabriel Jesus, who has not featured for the Gunners for the past three weeks, needed more time to recover. “We are following the player’s situation since he was injured,” Lasmar said.
“We have maintained contact with the club’s medical department and the player. He is recovering from a muscle injury on the back of his right thigh.” The fact that we bring the player is [Brazil coach] Fernando Diniz’s philosophy to have him close, monitor his day to day. As soon as he arrives, he will go through all the tests. We are not talking about when he will play.”