Brazil star Neymar was subbed off during Wednesday’s friendly against Qatar with what appeared to be a bad ankle injury. The 27-year-old suffered the setback in the 20th minute of the 2-0 friendly win in Brazil.
A statement from Brazil’s football federation read. “After suffering a sprain in his right ankle during last Wednesday’s game against Qatar. Neymar was evaluated and subjected to complementary imaging tests that confirmed ligament rupture in the ankle. Due to the seriousness of the injury, Neymar will not have the physical conditions and sufficient recovery time to participate in the Copa America Brasil 2019.”
The former Barcelona forward also injured his metatarsal in the months leading up to the 2018 World Cup. He missed the final months of the most recent Ligue 1 season with a similar problem. The friendly against Qatar was the first major public appearance for Neymar since a woman accused him of rape at a Paris hotel on May 15.
Brazil is set to compete in the Copa America beginning on June 14, which, depending on the severity of the injury, could be too soon for Neymar to return.They also have one more friendly against Honduras on Sunday and with other top scoring options like Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, Brazil still has a scary attack even if Neymar can’t play. However, it will be a tougher road for the squad to try to bring home its first Copa America championship since 2007.