Paris Saint-Germain may be celebrating the Ballon d'Or win for Lionel Messi, but the mood is grim at the Parc des Princes as they receive confirmation that Neymar Jr. will be out for 6-8 weeks. The Brazilian had to be stretchered off the pitch on Sunday after he suffered an ankle injury in their Ligue 1 clash against Saint-Etienne.
While PSG won the match with a comfortable 1-3 scoreline against the hosts, the closing minutes were tense as Neymar was seen twisting his left foot following a challenge from Yvann Macon. There was no doubt that the oftentimes dramatic Brazilian was in legitimate pain this time, as he had to be taken off the pitch on a stretcher. Later on after the match, he was seen needing the help of crutches in order to walk out of the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
PSG released a statement on Monday to confirm the gravity of the injury. "The examinations carried out last night confirm that Neymar Jr suffered from a sprained left ankle with ligament damage. An unavailability of 6 to 8 weeks is expected. A new update will be made in 72 hours to clarify the diagnosis."
The optimistic prediction of 6 weeks would mean that Neymar could be back by January 9, 2022, when PSG face Olympique Lyonnais. That means he will miss at least five games for PSG. Next week, they will be going up againt Club Brugge in the final group stage match in the Champions League, but it will not be of much significance as they have already secured a round-of-16 spot.
In Ligue 1, Neymar will be missing out on games against Nice, Lens, Monaco and Lorient. They have a comfortable 12-point lead at the top of the table, which they are hoping to maintain or extend in the coming weeks.
If he does not recover as quickly as hoped, Neymar will be missing a further two matches. He should be available by the 16th of January when Brest pays them a visit at the Parc des Princes. Manager Mauricio Pochettino would want the player to recover quickly as the crucial latter half of the season rolls in. He will need all of his players healthy and ready to play in the intense final stretch of the campaign.