Paris Saint-Germain talisman Neymar has suffered a fresh injury to his right metatarsal, the club said Thursday, marring the holders’ advance to the last 16 of the French Cup with a 2-0 win over Strasbourg.
A fractured metatarsal curtailed the Brazilian’s last season, and the recurrence comes just three weeks ahead of the first leg of PSG’s crunch Champions League clash against Manchester United.
The severity of the new injury is not yet known, although Neymar was able to walk off the field unsupported.
“Initial tests carried out revealed a painful reactivation of the injury to the fifth metatarsal,” a club statement said Thursday.
“The treatment will depend on progress over the coming days,” it said, adding all medical options would be considered.
Neymar initially tried to continue playing. But he covered his eyes — in tears, according to witnesses — as he was forced off to be replaced by Moussa Diaby just after the hour mark.
His early departure was a worrying moment for PSG, with the world’s most expensive player having missed the final three months of last season after breaking the same bone.
Each season PSG, which dominates France’s domestic league, is judged according to its Champions League results.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel after the game said: “The doctor is worried, ‘Ney’ is worried, because it is the same foot, the same place.”
“It was a situation where he was fouled three times, one after the other. The referee didn’t give anything. He twisted his foot.”
The PSG coach was also unhappy with suggestions from the Strasbourg players and coach that Neymar had provoked the injury by winding up his opponents.
“It’s Neymar’s style, but don’t come and complain when you get kicked,” Strasbourg’s Anthony Goncalves told broadcaster Eurosport.
“He is a great player, I respect him. He can enjoy himself but don’t come blubbering afterwards.”
Neymar’s compatriot and PSG teammate Dani Alves claimed that the referee was too passive, urging officials to “protect these kinds of players because they’re the ones who make people pay to come to the stadium”.
© Agence France-Presse (Additional Edits By Oisin McQueirns)