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Neymar ruled out of World Cup with fractured vertebrae after injury in Brazil's win over Colombia

Saturday, July 05, 2014 by Telegraph.co.uk

Brazilian poster boy will miss the remainder of the tournament after team doctor confirmed their No10 suffers a fractured vertebrae in collision with Juan Zuniga

End of the road: Neymar's World Cup is over after suffering injury in Brazil's win over Colombia

Luiz Felipe Scolari last night angrily claimed that Neymar had been “hunted” out of the World Cup after it was confirmed that Brazil ’s star player has suffered a fractured vertebra and will miss the rest of the competition.

A knee in the back by Colombia’s Juan Zuniga ended Neymar’s match in the 88th minute and, following checks at a local hospital in Fortaleza, the prognosis was bleak.

“Neymar has a broken vertebra — he’s expected to be out for four to six weeks,” Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told SportTV.
Earlier, Scolari had said that he expected Neymar to at least miss the semi-final against Germany.

“I think for the match against Germany it will be very difficult for Neymar to play based on my conversation with the doctor,” said Scolari.

“We are not very hopeful with this. If we beat Germany, it might be that he can play in the final. Today is July 4, the next match is on July 8. We have to hope it is nothing serious and, in two or three days, he can play with us.

"I don’t think it is likely but he is young, has energy, does everything right, so let’s see but I don’t think he will be able to play.”
Zuniga did not receive even a caution for the high challenge on Neymar and after the game defended himself against charges the tackle was reckless.

“It was a normal move,” he said. “I never meant to hurt a player. I was on the field, playing for the shirt from my country, not without the intent to injure. I was just defending my shirt.”

Brazil captain Thiago Silva is now also suspended for the Germany match after a soft booking for impeding Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina.

“Not even a yellow card, nothing,” said Scolari. “Then Silva gets a yellow card for walking past the goalkeeper. It’s hard to understand.

“Everyone knows Neymar would be hunted. Three matches that has been happening but no one thinks that’s the case, they only think Germany is hunted, not Neymar.

"We are in a slightly difficult position for the match against Germany but we have great players. If anything has to change we will do that and I think we will still have a great game.”

Neymar was visibly crying out in pain as he left the pitch last night and was immediately assessed by the Brazilian team doctor before being taken for further examination at a local hospital. “He’s at a clinic, undergoing tests,” said Scolari.

“He has already been sent to a private clinic. He was kneed on his lower back, he was crying out in pain. I can guarantee that it won’t be easy to recover based on what the doctor told us and the pain he is in. As it is the lower back, I don’t know. Let’s hope its OK.”

There were a total of 54 fouls in last night’s match — the most at this World Cup — and Scolari admitted that his players were not totally innocent. Fernandinho delivered some especially heavy tackles on Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez. “There were also moments when our players were tougher than they should be, we know that,” said Scolari.

“We could have stopped ours and their violent game.”

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