Brazil’s opening World Cup victory may have come at a cost after Neymar was pictured with an ice pack on his ankle after coming off in the 2-0 win over Serbia.
A brace from Richarlison, including a stunning scissor kick, helped the pre-tournament favourites to a comfortable three points in Group G, although there will be concern over the condition of their number 10.
Having suffered a series of fouls in the match, Neymar was withdrawn in the 79th minute to be replaced by Manchester United winger Antony.
Although he was able to walk off the pitch unaided, TV cameras caught the Paris Saint-Germain forward sat on the bench with an ice pack on his right ankle and his head in his shirt appearing upset.
Further images show team-mates apparently consoling Neymar and a swelling on the ankle after he removed his boot and sock.
Quoted in The Athletic, Brazil’s team doctor confirmed a sprain but was cautious about drawing any early conclusions.
“Neymar has a sprain on the right ankle. We started treatment immediately but we need to wait 24 hours to have a better assessment.
“We have nothing else scheduled. Now we need to wait and we cannot make any premature comments.”
Brazil manager Tite was far more bullish about the forward’s return, claiming: “We are confident that Neymar will continue playing, that he will continue playing in the World Cup.”
Neymar, who has scored 75 times for his country and only sits behind Pele (77) in the all-time charts, is looking to win the trophy with Brazil for the first time having announced this could be his last tournement.
The 30-year-old saw his side knocked out by Belgium at the Quarter final stage in 2018 while a back injury at the same stage four years earlier saw him miss Brazil’s humiliating semi-final loss to Germany.
Brazil have begun this campaign with a win and face Switzerland and Cameroon in their remaining Group H matches.