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Neymar undergoes operation for torn knee ligament

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AFP) Neymar underwent surgery Thursday at a hospital in his native Brazil to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus damage suffered during a national team match last month.

“The operation was a success. We’re very satisfied with the result,” said Rodrigo Lasmar, the Brazilian team doctor who performed the surgery.

“He had a reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament and the two meniscus injuries have been repaired.”

Neymar is expected to remain at Mater Dei hospital in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte for another 24 to 48 hours while he recovers, the doctor added.

Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar (R) and Saudi’ Au-hilal Medical Director Juan David Penha Duc deliver a press conference at the Mater Dei hospital, where Brazilian forward Neymar underwent surgery, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on November 2, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

Lasmar previously operated on Neymar for a foot fracture in 2018.

The 31-year-old was stretchered off in tears during Brazil’s 2-0 loss to Uruguay in a World Cup qualifying match on October 17, after colliding with opposing midfielder Nicolas de la Cruz.

Exams found the star striker had torn his left anterior cruciate ligament, one of the most serious knee injuries in football.

The injury is expected to sideline him for several months, including for Brazil’s upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers this month against Colombia and arch rivals Argentina.

It is the latest in a string of injuries for Neymar, who underwent surgery in March for an ankle problem that sidelined him for six months.

Fitness problems overshadowed much of his six seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, who signed him for a world-record EUR222 million (USD236 million) in 2017.

He signed for Al Hilal for a reported USD95 million in August 2023.

Despite his injury battles, Neymar etched his name in the record books in September when he surpassed the legendary Pele to become Brazil’s all-time leading goal scorer, with 79.

A child wearing the Brazilian national team t-shirt plays with a ball outside the Mater Dei hospital, where Brazilian forward Neymar underwent surgery, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on November 2, 2023. PHOTO: AFP
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