Doha, November 27: Brazil star forward Neymar is hopeful of recovering in time for the FIFA World Cup 2022 knock out rounds after he was reportedly ruled out of his teams remaining group stage matches due to injury.
Neymar is undergoing treatment for damaged ligaments in his right ankle, which he picked up in Brazil's 2-0 group stage opening win over Serbia on Thursday (November 24).
Team doctors had said Neymar will miss Monday's match against Switzerland but did not elaborate on his definitive return date - or say whether he will be able to return at all.
Neymar is planning a World Cup comeback despite posting a photo of his ankle still looking very swollen. On Saturday (November 26), Neymar took to social media to give some hope for the fans.
The star forward said on Instagram he was enduring "one of the most difficult moments" of his career, but seemed optimistic about his chances of returning. He showed two photos of his swollen ankle in an Instagram story.
"I'm injured, yes, and it's a pain, and it will hurt," he said. "But I'm sure that I'll have the chance to return, because I'll do anything possible to help my country, my teammates and myself."
He said he's been waiting too long for this World Cup to go out like this. "Nothing in my life was easy or given to me," Neymar said. "I've had always had to go after my dreams and my objectives."
Neymar also suffered an heartbreak at the 2014 World Cup, when a back injury sustained in the quarterfinals against Colombia ruled him out of the tournament his country hosted. Brazil ended up losing to Germany 7-1 in the semifinals.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward has been undergoing physiotherapy treatment since getting injured in the Qatar 2022 opener. He also had a small bone trauma in the same foot after being roughed up by the Serbia defense from the start.
The 30-year-old was fouled nine times, the most for any player at the World Cup in the first set of matches in the group stage. He has been the most fouled player in most games, he has played in his career.
Neymar, who is second on Brazil's scoring list with 75 goals, two behind great Pele, aims to win his first major title with his country after having helped the "Selecao" to the 2013 Confederations Cup and its first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Brazil coach Tite is yet to announce who will replace Neymar while he is unavailable. The Brazilian team will also miss right back Danilo, who injured his ankle against Serbia.
Brazil, seeking its first World Cup title in two decades, can reach the round of 16 with a win against Switzerland on Monday (November 28) if Cameroon doesn't defeat Serbia in the other group match. Brazil face Cameroon in its last group match on December 2.
(With Agency inputs)