Neymar is out of the World Cup after suffering a fractured vertebra in Brazil’s 2-1 victory over Colombia Friday.
The 22-year-old left the pitch on a stretcher after being kneed in the back by Juan Zuniga with only four minutes remaining in the quarterfinal at Arena Castelao, reports Xinhua
Examinations after the match confirmed Brazil’s worst fears and the Barcelona forward will be sidelined indefinitely.
“Unfortunately, he’s not going to be able to play,” team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told Sportv.
“It’s not serious in the sense that it doesn’t need surgery, but he’ll need to immobilise it to recover.”
The injury is a crushing blow to Brazil’s hopes of winning a sixth World Cup.
The hosts will also be without captain Thiago Silva for Tuesday’s semifinal against Germany in Belo Horizonte due to suspension.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed Neymar had not been given enough protection by referees during the tournament.
“He (Neymar) was going to be hunted. For three matches that has been happening,” Scolari said. “There was not even a yellow card, nothing.”
Neymar is Brazil’s leading scorer in the tournament with four goals.