Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar Jr suffered a left adductor injury in their 1-0 win over SM Caen in Coupe de France play earlier in the week, and it was later confirmed that the Brazilian attacker would miss around four weeks of action.
That month-long timeline rules him out for PSG’s first leg in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 next week as they head to Camp Nou to take on his former club, Barcelona. The spotlight will be almost solely on Lionel Messi with Neymar’s absence, as Barca will look to take advantage of the huge blow dealt to the visitors.
The return leg is scheduled for March 10 at Parc de Princes, where the 29-year-old Neymar may have a chance to get back to the pitch as it’s just at the tail-end of the initial four-week timeline.
Neymar is tied for as this season’s UCL leading scorer so far with six goals throughout the group stage — an honor he shares with Alvaro Morata, Marcus Rashford, and Erling Haaland.
This injury comes at an especially inopportune time as PSG has already confirmed that forward Angel Di Maria will also miss the first leg tie after suffering a thigh injury last week against Marseille in Ligue 1 play. Di Maria and Neymar have a combined nine goals and 11 assists in league play so far this season, with Di Maria notching a team-leading eight of those assists.
Luckily for PSG, young superstar Kylian Mbappé is still set to play in the first leg and will most likely bear the brunt of attacking responsibilities. The 22-year-old is the current leading scorer in Ligue 1 with 16 goals on the season.