PARIS (AP) — Neymar needs further medical tests next week to determine how best to treat his latest right foot injury, and assess how long he will be out for.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward sustained the injury in a French Cup game against Strasbourg on Tuesday . Initial tests showed a recurrence of a problem with the fifth metatarsal in the right foot which he fractured almost exactly one year ago playing against Marseille.
“He has started getting treatment, we need to wait until next week. His treatment will depend on how the injury develops in the next few days,” PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said Saturday at a news conference ahead of Sunday’s league game against Rennes. “It’s too early to say for Neymar.”
It is Neymar’s third injury in a calendar year.
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In February of last year, Neymar cracked the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, and he underwent surgery back home in Brazil. Although he recovered in time for the World Cup, he was not at his best in Russia. Then, Neymar was substituted with a groin injury during the first half of Brazil’s friendly against Cameroon on Nov. 20.
A huge game is coming up for PSG against Manchester United on Feb. 12.
Tuchel is sweating on the fitness of Neymar, the world’s most expensive player when he cost 222 million euros ($253 million) from Barcelona, and key midfielder Marco Verratti.
“The fact Neymar and Marco are injured is a sad situation for us,” Tuchel said. “We need to find solutions, collectively, so that we carry on winning.”
Tuchel avoided talking with Neymar about his injury when he saw the star forward on Friday, because “he is feeling sad.”
The French champion travels to a reinvigorated United side for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 match. On Friday, United beat Arsenal 3-1 in the FA Cup for a club-record extending eighth straight win under interim coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The former United striker replaced the fired Jose Mourinho in December.
But Tuchel did get some reassuring news about Verratti, who sprained his ankle playing against Guingamp last Saturday . The injury-prone Verratti has already resumed light jogging.
“Marco can run without any pain, but he hasn’t done any training with the ball yet,” said Tuchel, whose side is unbeaten in the league.
A home win against Rennes will move PSG 13 points clear of second-placed Lille, and with PSG still having played two games less.
Aside from dealing with injuries, PSG is also trying to sign another midfielder.
French reports Friday said PSG has agreed a deal to sign Argentina midfielder Leandro Paredes from Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg for 47 million euros ($54 million). But Tuchel said he has not joined the club.
“It’s not finished yet, which is the reason why I don’t want to talk about Leandro much,” Tuchel said. “We want to complete the transfer this weekend.”
PSG has also been linked with a move for midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who plays in the Premier League for Everton.
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