Brazil to take late fitness call on Neymar, says team doctor

LUSAIL, Qatar, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Brazil defender Danilo has shown positive signs in his recovery from an ankle injury as Neymar races against time to be fit for their last 16 clash against South Korea, team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said after Friday’s 1 -0 defeat by Cameroon.

Both Danilo and Neymar picked up ankle injuries in Brazil’s opening 2-0 win over Serbia, ruling them out of their 1-0 win over Switzerland and the shock defeat to Cameroon.

Alex Sandro picked up a hip injury in the game against the Swiss, while Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus could also join the injury list after complaining of pain after Friday’s game, where Tite trotted out a second-string Brazil side.

“As for Neymar and Alex Sandro, we think we have time on our hands and there is a possibility,” Lasmar told reporters when asked about their availability for Monday’s last 16 game.

“Let’s wait and see what their transition will be – they haven’t started training with the ball yet and that’s something they will do tomorrow. It will be important to see how they react to this new style, so depending on that, will give us a call

“Danilo has developed very positively and today he did intense work with the ball and functionally adapted very positively. The expectation is that he will be able to train normally with all players tomorrow.

“Let’s see what happens and if everything is right, we have very high expectations that he will be available for the next game.”

The team doctor added that Telles and Gabriel will undergo tests on Saturday.

“Alex Telles came in complaining of pain in his right knee after trauma. He was assessed in the dressing room and will have a magnetic resonance image tomorrow to assess his condition,” he said.

“Gabriel Jesus complained of pain in his right knee after the match and after clinical assessment we asked for an imaging examination tomorrow.”

Despite losing to Cameroon, the first African team to beat Brazil at the World Cup, Tite’s side finished top of Group G with six points on goal difference, ahead of Switzerland who went through after beating Serbia 3-2.

Brazil bid for their sixth World Cup in Qatar.

Reporting by Manasi Pathak; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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