Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar is targeting a return to action in time for February's Champions League round of 16 tie, after picking up an ankle injury in Sunday's 3-1 win at Saint-Etienne.
A tearful Neymar left the pitch on a stretcher after Yvann Maçon's robust challenge and PSG later confirmed that exams taken on Sunday evening showed that the Brazilian had suffered a 'sprained left ankle with ligament damage' that will keep him out of action for six to eight weeks.
The world's most expensive player was seen leaving the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on crutches and his left foot in a protective walking boot - recalling memories of the ankle fractures he suffered in 2018 and 2019, that kept him out of action for a number of months.
PSG will be thankful that no fracture was detected this time, which would have almost certainly compromised the Brazilian's availability for February's showdown. Instead, Neymar is targeting a return to action in mid-January in a bid to be ready for PSG's round of 16 first leg that will be played in the week of February 15-16 or February 22-23.
'I'll be back'
"Unfortunately, these setbacks are part of the life of an athlete, said Neymar via Instagram. "Now you have to raise your head and move on. I will come back better and stronger."
PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino will at best, be without his number 10 for at least five more Ligue 1 Uber Eats matches including the home game against Monaco on December 12 and the trip to Lyon on January 9. He will also miss the final Champions League group stage clash against Club Brugge next Tuesday.
The absence will also be a disruption to the attacking trio of Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi who had been showing signs of clicking into gear in recent weeks after an indifferent start to the season.