Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has admitted Neymar is unlikely to be fit in time for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester United next month.
“It’s going to be super difficult”, Tuchel told Canal+ when asked if Neymar would return from a metatarsal injury in time for the game at Old Trafford on February 12.
“It is still too early to talk about a return date because we need to wait and see how ‘Ney’ reacts to treatment to be more precise,” he said after PSG beat Rennes 4-1 at the Parc des Princes.
Tuchel’s admission came after newspaper Le Parisien claimed on Sunday evening that Neymar had suffered “a hairline fracture of the fifth metatarsal”, exactly where the Brazilian underwent an operation on a fracture in March last year.
Neymar missed the last three months of last season as a result, including the second leg of PSG’s Champions League last-16 defeat against Real Madrid. He only returned just in time for the World Cup.
“I can’t confirm a new diagnosis. I think the club has said everything about this injury for the moment and now we need to wait,” Tuchel added.
PSG have only said that Neymar had suffered “a painful reactivation of the right fifth metatarsal” in Wednesday’s French Cup win against Strasbourg.
Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar is expected to visit the world’s most expensive player on Monday.
The second leg of the Manchester United tie is scheduled for March 6.
© Agence France-Presse (Additional edits by Marisa Kennedy)