Neymar to miss 2024 Copa América due to knee injury

Brazil’s star forward Neymar will not be able to participate in the 2024 Copa América in the United States, as he is still recovering from a serious knee injury that he sustained in October 2023.

Neymar, who plays for Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus in his left knee during a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Uruguay. He underwent surgery two weeks later, but the recovery process is expected to take at least nine months.

Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed that Neymar will not be ready for the Copa América, which will start on June 20 and end on July 14. He told Rede 98: “It’s too early. There’s no point in skipping steps to recover sooner and taking unnecessary risks. Our expectation is that he will be prepared to return at the start of the 2024 season in Europe, which is August.”

Neymar’s absence is a huge blow for Brazil, who are the defending champions of the Copa América and have won the tournament nine times. Neymar is Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 79 goals in 128 appearances, and he was instrumental in their World Cup qualifying campaign, scoring two goals and providing three assists in four matches.

Brazil have been drawn into Group D of the Copa América, along with Colombia, Paraguay, and the winner of a playoff between Honduras and Costa Rica. They will have to rely on other attacking options, such as Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Raphinha, and Endrick, to fill the void left by Neymar.

Neymar joined Al-Hilal in the summer of 2023, ending his six-year stint with Paris Saint-Germain. He reportedly moved to the Saudi Pro League for a fee of €90 million, making him one of the most expensive players in history. He has scored one goal in five appearances for his new club.


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