On the day Neymar left the field crying after being injured in the match against Uruguay, there was a big bad news on that day. That fear has turned into reality. Brazil’s national team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said on Tuesday that Neymar will not play in the 2024 Copa America due to a knee injury.
Neymar injured his knee in the World Cup qualifying match on October 17. It was later revealed that the Brazilian star had torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. 31-year-old Neymar is currently undergoing rehabilitation after surgery.
Copa America will start on June 20, 2024 in the United States. Before that time, there were already doubts about whether Neymar would be able to return to the field fully fit. But what Lasmar said, Brazil fans should not be happy.
‘It (the Copa America) is quicker to come back,’ Lasmar told Ninety Eight radio in Hedges, Brazil, on Tuesday. It is unwise to rush and take unnecessary risks without following every step of the rehabilitation process. We hope he (Neymar) will be fit to return to the field at the start of the 2024 European season, i.e. in August.’
However, Neymar is recovering faster than expected. But according to Lassmer, the body should be given enough time to repair ligament injuries. Or it could be the opposite, ‘we have to be patient. It would not be right to talk about his (Neymar’s) return before nine months. Generally, this is the time required for rehabilitation after knee ligament surgery. The body should be given the time it needs to rebuild the ligaments.’
Lasmar hopes that when Neymar returns to the field, he will be back at his best, “If we follow the steps in this long journey of rehabilitation, hopefully he will perform at the top level again.”
Colombia and Paraguay are Brazil’s partners in Group D in the Copa America. The fourth team in the group will be determined from a playoff between Costa Rica and Honduras. Before the start of the tournament, Brazil will play a friendly match against Mexico on June 8.
Brazil has won the Copa America only once since 2007. Neymar did not play in the 2019 Copa America due to injury.