The Brazilian was left out of the team to play Brest in the Coupe de France on Saturday, but he returned to partial training, and Mauricio Pochettino is “very pleased” with his recovery.
Neymar returned to partial training
Paris Saint-Germain could welcome Neymar back to their squad for their Champions League last-16 return leg game with Barcelona on Wednesday. The Brazilian was left out of the team to play Brest in the Coupe de France on Saturday. But he returned to partial training, and Mauricio Pochettino is “very pleased” with his recovery. Neymar has not played for PSG since his injury in the 1-0 cup win over Caen on February 10, missing out on the virtuoso performance of Kylian Mbappé as they humbled his former side 4-1 at Camp Nou. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, PSG coach Pochettino said: “He will not be here tomorrow. But we are very pleased with his development and will see in the coming days if he can be in the squad against Barcelona.”
The Brazilian’s fitness is all touch and go
Neymar was expected to sit out about a month when he was first injured. And Pochettino said last week that his recovery was on schedule. Neymar made no secret of his disappointment when he was replaced in the first match against Barça, lashing out with an emotional post on Instagram. He clearly would like to play against his old side. And fans would undoubtedly enjoy the story. But if his fitness is all touch and go, it remains to be seen if Pochettino would want to risk him. The coach had to answer questions after taking a chance against Caen’s second tier in the cup. And his side is a huge favourite to progress against Barça after their convincing away win. Given their 6-1 second-leg humiliation in 2017, the French side won’t count their chickens, but sending Neymar might be considered an unnecessary risk.
PSG have a Ligue 1 title race on their hand, two points behind leaders Lille with ten games to play. With Lyon just a point behind in third, Pochettino may prefer to give Neymar some extra time to recover and keep him fit for a title run-in.