5 July 2014 01:22
Brazil star Neymar has been ruled out for the remainder of the FIFA World Cup with a fractured vertebra suffered on Friday.
The Barcelona forward was stretchered off with a back injury late in Brazil’s 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia.
Neymar was taken to hospital after the heavy challenge from Juan Camilo Zuniga and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari initially said the 22-year-old was set to miss Tuesday’s meeting with Germany.
But Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Neymar would need at least a few weeks to recover from a fractured vertebra, meaning his tournament is over.
“It’s not serious in the sense that it doesn’t need surgery, but he’ll need to immobilise it to recover,” Lasmar told SportTV.
“Unfortunately, he’s not going to be able to play.”
Neymar has scored four goals at the FIFA World Cup and his absence is a huge blow to Scolari’s men, who have otherwise struggled in the attacking third.
Brazil’s last three goals at the tournament have come from set pieces, while striker Fred has netted just once.
Captain and centre-back Thiago Silva is also out of the semi-final through suspension.