Unai Emery hinted Neymar will be ready to return for Paris Saint-Germain after sitting out their clash with Nantes due to a rib injury.
The Ligue 1 leaders won 1-0 without their world-record signing on Sunday, the Brazilian having taken a knock in the Coupe de la Ligue meeting with Amiens last week.
Clips emerged of the 25-year-old nutmegging team-mates during training on Monday and head coach Emery on Tuesday suggested he could make his comeback earlier than anticipated.
“He’s going to have this pain in his ribs for several days but he finished training [on Monday] well and we’ll see how he feels,” Emery said ahead of Dijon’s visit to the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
“I am not a doctor. Normally he should sit out for one or two weeks. If he takes contact, he may experience some pain.
“Normally, he will be ready for tomorrow. Maybe he will still get hit today [in training] and he will hurt again.”
Take it easy on them, @neymarjr !! pic.twitter.com/4GMBrCWE95
— PSG English (@PSG_English) January 15, 2018
Emery feels Neymar is given sufficient protection by referees, but has no doubt opposing teams may look to give him “special” treatment.
“Players like [Nabil] Fekir and Neymar are special. The referees are ready to protect this type of football,” he said.
“Neymar is a player who makes the difference on the pitch. All the people who love Ligue 1 are happy to have a player like Neymar in it. He is special.
“The opponents use all means to score in a match. Maybe the coaches are preparing a special defence for Neymar. It’s normal.”
Thiago Motta will again sit out due to a calf complaint, but Javier Pastore is in contention for a first appearance of the year.
PSG’s victory over Nantes extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 11 points over Monaco and Lyon.