PARIS: Brazilian superstar Neymar is expected back in Paris a month before the World Cup begins in Russia, French media reported on Sunday.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has been recovering in his homeland since undergoing surgery on a broken bone in his foot on Mar 3.
He had been injured playing for PSG in a league match against Marseille on Feb 25, just before a crucial Champions League last 16 second-leg clash with Real Madrid.
French newspaper L’Equipe said he will return to Paris in “mid-May at the latest” to take part in PSG’s end of season celebrations.
RMC radio, though, said he would be back in “early May” to complete his rehabilitation in Paris alongside his two physiotherapists.
His injury sparked a club-versus-country tug-of-war as PSG wanted to try to get Neymar fit in time to play against Real while Brazil were eager to wrap him in cotton wool to ensure he is firing on all cylinders at the World Cup, starting on June 14.
Brazil won that battle as Neymar went under the knife as PSG were sent crashing out of Europe.
PSG’s last match is on May 19 against Caen, after which they will celebrate their success in regaining the Ligue 1 title, winning the League Cup and perhaps also the French Cup – they play third-tier Les Herbiers in the final on May 8.
Earlier this week, Neymar said he was due to undergo tests on May 17 to determine whether he is fit to start playing again.
It means he is almost certain to play no further part in PSG’s season but that would leave him a month to regain match sharpness ahead of the World Cup, something he said on Tuesday he was confident of doing.
“I will arrive better than I was before,” he said at a publicity event in Sao Paulo.