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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

PSG doctor denies 'split' as Neymar prepares to leave hospital to begin rehab

Brazilian was due to be discharged early in morning from Mater Dei hospital in Belo Horizonte, 24 hours after surgery to repair fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot

Supporters wear Neymar face masks as they pose for a photo outside the Mater Dei Hospital, where he underwent surgery. Eugenio Savio / AP Photo
Supporters wear Neymar face masks as they pose for a photo outside the Mater Dei Hospital, where he underwent surgery. Eugenio Savio / AP Photo

Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar was to leave hospital on Sunday after a successful operation on his broken foot, but it will be six weeks before doctors know when the world's most expensive player can train again.

Neymar was due to be discharged early in the morning from the Mater Dei hospital in Belo Horizonte, 24 hours after surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

The operation was declared a complete success.

Now the question is whether the 26-year-old player can catch any of PSG's remaining season, and even what kind of shape he will be in at the start of Brazil's World Cup campaign in Russia this June.

"The recovery time will depend on the player's evolution. In six weeks we will make a new evaluation," Rodrigo Lasmar said after performing the operation.

Gerard Saillant, the French doctor representing PSG at the hospital, said the timing of Neymar's return to full training could only be given at the six-week mark. "It is absolutely impossible to give you the slightest detail before those six weeks," he said.

On Thursday, Lasmar said the star player - whose transfer from Barcelona cost PSG a record €222 million (then Dh960m) last August - would need at least two and a half months, maybe three, to return. This would put him uncomfortably close to the start of the World Cup on June 14, including missing two friendly warm-up games.

After his one hour and 15 minute operation, Neymar spent his Saturday afternoon in a hospital bed watching live TV coverage of PSG's Ligue 1 game against Troyes, Saillant said.

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, right, and French doctor Gerard Saillant, representing PSG, speak after the surgery. Eugenio Savio / AP Photo
Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, right, and French doctor Gerard Saillant, representing PSG, speak after the surgery. Eugenio Savio / AP Photo

PSG won 2-0, but Neymar's absence will be keenly felt during Tuesday's Uefa Champions League showdown against Real Madrid.

The striker has scored 28 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions for the club - a prolific tally that came to a halt February 25 when he broke his foot during a 3-0 drubbing of Marseille.

Amid reports of tensions between PSG and Brazil's footballing authorities over Neymar's medical treatment, PSG insisted that it would be in charge of his recuperation.

"The post-operation rehabilitation will begin immediately under the control of the club's physiotherapist," PSG said in a statement on their website.

Earlier, Paris newspaper L'Equipe reported that PSG believe Lasmar lied about Neymar's condition.

The report said that Neymar was initially found to have suffered a minor fracture at the Marseille game and that PSG were shocked when Lasmar declared it was a serious break requiring longer than expected recuperation time.

However, doctors stressed on Saturday that there was no friction between PSG and Brazil's federation, the CBF.

"Contrary to what might have been written or said..., decisions already taken and those to come have had the complete agreement of Neymar of course, and of his family, all the staff at PSG, the medical staff, the organisation and management of PSG, and the representatives of the CBF," Saillant said.

"There is absolutely no split, despite what was written."

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