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Neymar’s foot operation: what we know

Brazilian football star Neymar will undergo surgery Saturday to fix a broken bone in his right foot that has put a hole in Paris Saint-Germain’s season and given Brazil the jitters, three and a half months out from the World Cup. Here’s what we know so far.

A picture obtained from Twitter account of @Claire_Dorland shows Brazilian superstar Neymar as he arrives at Rio de Janeiro after flying from Paris on March 1, 2018 ahead of an operation on his fractured foot.
Brazilian superstar Neymar flew into Rio de Janeiro early Thursday ahead of an operation on his fractured foot that will rule him out for up to three months. Neymar suffered a hairline fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot as well as a twisted ankle late in PSG’s 3-0 win over Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday / AFP PHOTO / Twitter / Claire Dornald Clauzel / “This photo by Claire Dornald Clauzel has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Caption addition:[A picture obtained from Twitter account of @Claire_Dorland]. It also changes source to [Twitter] instead of [AFP]. Please immediately remove the previous version[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.î

– What happened? –

Neymar — transferred from Barcelona to PSG last August for a record 222 million-euros ($264 million) — broke his foot while playing in a 3-0 defeat of Marseille on February 25th.

The bone in question is the fifth metatarsal, a long bone connecting to the little toe.

On Thursday, Neymar flew home with Brazilian national team surgeon Rodrigo Lasmar, who will operate on him.

– What’s the operation? –

Lasmar will lead the procedure at the Mater Dei hospital in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.

Jose Luiz Runco, a former chief medical officer for the Brazilian team, tells AFP that the surgery “is not difficult.”

“It should take about an hour, or 90 minutes maximum,” he said. “The idea is to fix the fracture so that it won’t be compromised in future. They could put plates and screws, or just a screw.”

Staff at the Belo Horizonte facility have been asked not to turn on their cellphones anywhere near the star.

Not that Neymar’s exactly publicity shy — he posted pictures of himself cuddling with his actress girlfriend on Friday.

– When will he play? –

For PSG, the broken bone means saying goodbye to their prize player for the crucial Champions League match against Real Madrid next week.

For Brazil, where Neymar is also seen as a key match winner, the concern is to get him playing before the World Cup in Russia, which starts in June.

Lasmar says the recovery period will last two and a half to three months. That means Neymar missing two friendlies and a lot of other preparation before a tournament where Brazil, as ever, is seen as a favorite.

Some in Brazil already fear their campaign is doomed.

However, medical experts say the picture may be brighter, given that Neymar should have just enough time to get back in shape, while also being fully rested.

“When you think how exhausting the European season is, he could even arrive fresher than the others,” said Cristiano Nunes, the physio for Brazilian first division club Internacional in Porto Alegre.

Runco says Neymar will be able to walk with crutches after two to three weeks, exercise while putting weight on his repaired foot after about 60 to 75 days, and then returning to training.

“He’s likely to recover pretty quickly because he’s an athlete and young.”

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