Neymar almost fully recovers from ankle injury

Neymar almost fully recovers from ankle injury

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar said Saturday that he hasalmost fully recovered from an ankle ligament injury that ruled him out ofBrazil's home Copa America triumph.

The 27-year-old has been sidelined since suffering thesetback in Brazil's 2-0 friendly victory over Qatar in Brasilia on June 5.Despite the absence of their talisman, the five-time world champions wonfootball's oldest international continental tournament for the ninth time bydefeating Peru 3-1 in last Sunday's final at the Maracana stadium in Rio, theXinhua news agency reported.

"I'm almost 100 per cent fit, I only need totrain," Neymar told reporters during a five-a-side tournament for hischarity in Praia Grande, near Sao Paulo.

The former Barcelona and Santos star made brief appearanceson the pitch at the Neymar Jr Institute in both the men's and women's competitions– which included players from 42 countries and regions – alongside hisseven-year-old son Davi Lucca.

News of his return to fitness coincides with mountingspeculation linking the Brazil No. 10 with a return to the Camp Nou.

The Catalan club's president, Josep Bartomeu, said last weekthat Neymar wanted to leave the French club. And the reports in Spanish mediahave claimed he is willing to take a pay cut to facilitate a return to Spain.

Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 top-flight matches for PSGsince his world record 222 million-euro move from the current La Ligachampions. But his time in Paris has been blighted by injuries and off-fieldcontroversies.

He missed the final three months of the 2017-18 season witha fractured metatarsal and was again sidelined for most of last season with arecurrence of the same injury.

His disciplinary indiscretions include a physical attack ona fan that earned him a three-match ban by the French Football Association. Hewill also miss the next three UEFA Champions League matches for insultingofficials on social media.

Neymar was stripped of Brazil's captaincy in May andreplaced by his close friend Dani Alves.

Last Monday, PSG said they would take "appropriateaction" after Neymar failed to attend the club's first day of pre-seasontraining.

The Brazilian's entourage has said that PSG were previouslynotified that the attacker would only return on July 15.

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