Football: PSG's Neymar has 'ligament damage' in injured ankle

Neymar was taken off on a stretcher with an ankle injury in the second half of PSG’s Ligue 1 win over Lille. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS – Brazil forward Neymar has suffered ligament damage to his injured right ankle, Paris Saint-Germain said on Tuesday, two weeks before the French club’s Champions League last-16, second-leg clash with Bayern Munich.

The 31-year-old was taken off on a stretcher in tears after suffering the injury in the second half of PSG’s extraordinary 4-3 Ligue 1 win over Lille on Sunday.

The Brazilian scored the second goal in the 17th minute and also had an assist for fellow star forward Kylian Mbappe.

“Tests today have confirmed Neymar has sprained his ankle, with some ligament damage. He will undergo further tests at the start of next week,” PSG said in a statement, without saying how long the player would be out for.

The club confirmed after the victory a scan had shown no fracture, but said further tests would still be needed to find out the extent of the damage to the ligaments.

Left-back Nuno Mendes also picked up an injury at the Parc des Princes, but PSG’s update on the Portugal international was much more positive.

“After picking up a knock to his knee in the previous match, Nuno Mendes will return to training this week,” it said.

Neymar’s injury immediately built fears he could miss the return leg with Bayern on March 8.

The French champions will head to Germany looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg, when Mbappe was restricted to a second-half cameo as a substitute on his return from a thigh injury.

Neymar has not had much luck in the Champions League.

He has twice spent lengthy spells on the sidelines after suffering metatarsal fractures before PSG’s last-16 tie against Real Madrid in 2019 and against Manchester United the following year, with the French side being knocked out on both occasions.

PSG will be looking to avoid going out of the Champions League in the last 16 for what would be the fifth time in seven seasons.

Meanwhile, Neymar has been ruled out of PSG’s crunch Ligue 1 game at Marseille this weekend. AFP, REUTERS

Paris St Germain’s Neymar in action before being stretchered off. PHOTO: REUTERS

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