Neymar is once again on the shelf, and Paris Saint-German will feel his absence.
The most recent injury is a severe ankle sprain in the Ligue 1 win against Saint-Etienne in late November. Neymar fell on the ankle after a sliding tackle from defender Yvanne Macon, with the reps taking a bad turn. He was carted off the field and is now facing a substantial layoff.
Neymar has already missed five games due to the injury – three Ligue 1 games, a Champions League game and a Coupe de France game. PSG were largely okay, winning both cup games, winning one and drawing two Ligue 1 games (PSG have a gigantic 13-point lead at the top of the table in Ligue 1, so occasional drops in points are not a problem). With the Champions League knockout rounds set to start in February, having Neymar back will be important.
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PSG announced that Neymar is considering another month or more on the sidelines and is currently being rehabilitated at the team’s remote facilities in Doha, Qatar.
It is the sixth time in the past four years that Neymar has suffered an injury that requires such treatment, according to Julien Laurens, ESPN FC’s Ligue 1 correspondent. The report says he missed a whopping 91 games for PSG due to injuries, a shocking pick.
OFFICIAL: PSG say Neymar will be back in training in 4-5 weeks. Juan Bernat, Layvin Kurzawa, Colin Dagba & Julian Draxler are out until after the winter break. #FCLPSG
– Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) December 21, 2021
PSG without Neymar
Coach Mauricio Pochettino has come under fire for the team’s stuttering attack. While the results so far have been satisfactory, it is often difficult to judge PSG based on their return to the field in the first half of the season.
The club has dominated Ligue 1 for years, and even the group stage of the Champions League was often a formality for a club of this caliber. The back of group winners Man City and four points behind third-placed RB Leipzig.
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As a result, PSG fans and the media often use the eye test to predict how the squad might perform in the higher leverage games to come and there have been fears of disappointment. Pochettino had to constantly answer questions about his tactical approach to games, especially since Neymar’s injury.
To make matters worse, the club will have to do without Kylian Mbappe in the upcoming Ligue 1 game against ninth-placed Angers on Wednesday 22 December.
“We have to build the game and move forward differently on the pitch,” admitted Pochettino in his pre-game press conference. “It could also help us understand the game differently. When we have Kylian Mbappe or Neymar on the pitch, the first thought may be to bring them back because they can do that best. Without Kylian Mbappe we are still We have them Quality to build us up, we can play a good pace, but it will be good for the team to show that we can attack differently, sometimes we can try to be too direct and play too fast but without Kylian and Neymar, we may have to spend longer building the game with shorter passes. “
Given Neymar’s announced schedule, it could be a race for him to be fit for the first leg of the upcoming Champions League knockout match against Real Madrid on February 15. A four-week hiatus would mean that Neymar would return to training in late January and the race would begin to build his match fitness in time for the first game in Paris.
Given the shared schedule, he should stand a good chance of being ready, but delays on his return or setbacks with the injury could put his reputation at risk. The second part of the series falls on Wednesday, March 9th.