Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar faces a race to in perfect shape for the Russia 2018 World Cup in June after breaking his fifth metatarsal and requiring surgery.
The metatarsal bones are described as a group of five long bones in the foot, located between the tarsal bones of the hind- and mid-foot and the phalanges of the toes.
Neymar, 26, got injured last week during a game against Marseille and was initially ruled out for between six to eight weeks.
But the superstar is now expected to be out of action for up to three months after he undergoes surgery on the broken metatarsal, according to Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar.
Lasmar told Brazilian newspaper O Globo: “Neymar suffered a fracture to the fifth metatarsal, it is an important fracture in a foot bone. The operation will be in Belo Horizonte on Saturdaymorning, and the recovery takes from two and a half months to three months.
“Neymar is sad, but understands that he has no alternative now. He will devote himself to being well as soon as possible. We will do our best to get him ready as soon as possible.”
Neymar was pictured at the Rio airport back in Brazil on Thursday in a wheelchair after returning to his native country for surgery.
Neymar, the most expensive footballer in history at £200m, will miss next week’s second leg of the UEFA Champions League tie between PSG and Real Madrid.
Champions Madrid won the first leg 3-1 at home two weeks ago.