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


Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group G - Cameroon v Brazil - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 2, 2022 Brazil's Neymar plays football before the match REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

LUSAIL, Qatar (Reuters) - Brazil defender Danilo has shown positive signs in his recovery from an ankle injury while Neymar is racing 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 suffered ankle injuries in Brazil's opening 2-0 win over Serbia, which ruled them out of their 1-0 win over Switzerland and the shock loss to Cameroon.

Alex Sandro suffered 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 fielded a second-string Brazil side.

"Regarding 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 what their transition will be - they have still not started to practice with the ball and it's something they will do tomorrow. It will be important to see how they respond to this new style, so depending on that, we will make a call.

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

"Let's observe what happens and if everything is OK, we have very high expectations that he will be available for the next match."

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

"Alex Telles came off complaining of pain in his right knee after trauma. He has been assessed in the changing room and tomorrow will do a magnetic resonance image to be able to assess his condition," he said.

"Gabriel Jesus after the game complained of pain in his right knee and after clinical assessment, we have asked for an imaging exam tomorrow."

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

Brazil are bidding for their sixth World Cup in Qatar.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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