January 24, 2019 / 5:28 AM / 25 days ago

Soccer: Foot injury makes Neymar a doubt for Champions League clash

(Reuters) - Neymar is doubtful for next month’s Champions League clash against Manchester United after Paris St Germain confirmed the forward has injured a metatarsal in his right foot during their 2-0 French Cup win over Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - French Cup - Round of 32 - Paris St Germain v RC Strasbourg - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - January 23, 2019 Paris St Germain's Neymar in action REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Neymar, 26, left the pitch after twisting his foot and the club said initial examinations revealed a “reactivation of the lesion of the fifth right metatarsal”, adding that treatment would depend on how the injury heals in the next few days.

The Brazilian had fractured the same metatarsal last February and required surgery that effectively ended his club campaign. He returned to action in May, in time for the World Cup in Russia.

“Neymar is worried, because it’s the same foot, the right foot, in the same area,” PSG manager Thomas Tuchel told reporters.

Tuchel criticised the referee for not protecting the Brazilian when Strasbourg’s players tackled him forcefully.

“The referee didn’t whistle on one occasion, then two, then three and after that he ended up twisting his foot,” he added.

PSG face United at Old Trafford for the first leg of the Champions League last 16 clash on Feb. 12.

Neymar was repeatedly fouled - his usual treatment in domestic games - and he responded with an overhead flick, the kind of reply that often triggers angry reactions from his opponents.

“It’s Neymar’s style, but don’t come and complain when you get kicked,” said Strasbourg midfielder Anthony Goncalves.

“He is a great player, I respect him. He can enjoy himself but don’t come blubbering afterwards.”

“I don’t think I asked my players to kick him, but you have to understand that there comes a point when my players have had enough of someone who is trying to taunt them, to tease them,” Strasbourg coach Thierry Laurey said.

PSG, who hold a 13-point lead in Ligue 1 with 53 points from 19 games, return to league action on Sunday when they host Rennes.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Julien Pretot in Paris; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Christian Radnedge

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