(FORTALEZA, Brazil) — The host nation will be without its most popular, and most powerful, player for the rest of the World Cup. Neymar suffered a broken vertebra late in Friday’s quarterfinal matchup with Colombia.
Neymar went to the ground after a collision with Juan Camilo Zuniga in the 88th minute and had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Hours after the match, which Brazil won 2-1, team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar delivered the bad news.
“It is a benign fracture,” Lasmar said. “This news is not easy, but he will not be available at this World Cup. The fracture does not require surgery. There will be a conservative treatment and [he] will need physiotherapy and comfort to ease the pain.”
The 22-year-old is the face of the Brazilian National Team and one of the top scorers in the world. Now, the host squad must find a way to continue their hope of winning the World Cup on home soil without one of their most talented players.
Brazil will face Germany on Tuesday in semi-final action. To make matters worse, captain Thiago Silva will not be available as well after picking up a second yellow card in the tournament.
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Emanuella Grinberg, CNN