Neymar will not be fit for Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 match on Friday against Rennes, four days before a Champions League last-16 first leg clash with Real Madrid, coach Mauricio Pochettino said on Thursday.
“He will not be in the squad for Rennes.” said Pochettino adding the player was back training with the first team squad. The Brazilian sprained his left ankle in late November.
The club said in a statement Neymar took part in a 15-minute session at training Thursday morning.
“His progress is very good,” said Pochettino
Since his arrival in 2017, Neymar has missed five of his team’s eight Champions League last 16 appearances due to various injuries, including the double-header against Barcelona last season.
“All the great players want to play the big games. He has the experience and maturity to manage himself, and channel his energy, to arrive in the best conditions when he can play,” said Pochettino.
Pochettino said that recovery from injury was not a “mathematical formula”.
PSG will also be without former Real Madrid defensive great but increasingly injury-prone Sergio Ramos for Friday’s match.
Pochettino said Georginio Wijnaldum, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes, who have all been struggling with injuries, were available to faces Rennes.
Abdou Diallo and Idrissa Gana Gueye, who helped guide Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations title will not be available.