Paris Saint-Germain have suffered a major setback in their quest to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after it was confirmed that Neymar will miss their return leg against Real Madrid after suffering a fractured metatarsal during their win over Marseille on Sunday (25 February).
The Ligue 1 leaders welcome the Spanish giants to the Parc des Princes on 6 March for the second-leg of their last 16 tie which they trail 3-1 following their loss at the Santiago Bernabeu. Unai Emery's team are second favourites to progress owing to the score margin, but were still confident about having a chance to overcome the deficit and dump the holders out of the tournament.
However, Neymar's potential absence for the game against Cristiano Ronaldo and company will be a major setback and will certainly reduce their chance to progress to the last eight of the competition. The Brazilian forward has been prolific in this first season at the club and has racked up 29 goals in as many games in all competitions while also contributing with 17 assists.
The 26-year-old started the game against Marseille, which they won 3-0 with goals from Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and an own goal from Rolando. He suffered the injury with just ten minutes left to play and needed to be stretchered off the field.
Initial diagnosis suggested that it was just an ankle sprain, which saw Emery remain optimistic that Neymar could be available for the return leg against Real. However, further scans have revealed a fracture to the fifth metatarsal along with an ankle sprain.
"Follow-up exams performed today confirm a sprain in the right ankle, but also the associated presence of a crack of his fifth metatarsal," PSG said in a statement, as quoted by ESPN.
The Brazil international looks certain to miss the Champions League clash against Real, but he is expected to return to action before the end of the season and be fit in time for the World Cup in Russia this summer.