Neymar’s Latest Injury Is Terrible News For Saudi Giants Al-Hilal

Al Hilal And Brazil Star Neymar
Al Hilal And Brazil Star Neymar

Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal splurged a whopping €90 million ($94.84 million) to sign Brazil superstar Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on August 15. The 31-year-old was nursing an ankle injury at the time, meaning he could not jump into action right away. A month after signing over the dotted line, Neymar made his Al-Hilal debut in a 6-1 victory over Al-Riyadh.

The former Barcelona man did not exactly set the stage alight in his first five matches for Al-Hilal, scoring just once and claiming three assists. However, there was hope that he would come good after settling down in the desert.

Neymar Suffered Serious Injury During Brazil’s Defeat To Uruguay

On Tuesday night (October 17), during Brazil’s 2-0 defeat to Uruguay, the said hopes took a massive hit, as Neymar picked up a nasty knee injury in the first half.

The Selecao’s all-time leading scorer tripped and fell while trying to dribble his way past the Uruguayan defense in the 44th minute. Clutching his left knee, Neymar screamed out in agony right away, compelling teammates and opponents to rush to his aid. Shortly after, a stretcher was brought out and the attacker left the pitch in tears.

After the game, Brazil confirmed that Neymar had torn his anterior cruciate ligament and the meniscus in his left knee.

Their statement read (via ESPN):

Striker Neymar Jr. of the Brazilian team and Al-Hilal, from Saudi Arabia, underwent clinical and imaging tests this Wednesday, which confirmed the rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee.

The statement also confirmed that Neymar would have to undergo surgery to fix the problem.

It added:

The striker will undergo a surgical procedure, on a date yet to be defined, to correct the injuries. The Brazilian National Team’s medical department, under the supervision of Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar, and Al Hilal, are in permanent contact and aligned in the player’s recovery.”

Al-Hilal Could Be Without Their Star Man This Season

Al-Hilal spent a record fee to sign one of the best players of this generation, hoping he would guide them to Saudi Pro League and AFC Champions League glory. However, as things stand, there is hardly any chance of any of it happening this season.

Recovering from an ACL injury is a time-consuming process. While it heavily depends on the success of the corrective surgery, Brazil’s medical staff reportedly believes that he could be fit enough to play again in eight months, which would allow him to participate in the 2024 Copa America.

Additionally, since making a full recovery from an ACL tear is tricky, there is a chance that Neymar will not be as nimble-footed when he eventually returns to the fold. It bodes terribly for Al-Hilal, who would have to continue paying him around $167 million per year (via talkSPORT) without assurances of worthwhile returns.

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