Neymar 'recovering well' after injury, on course for WCup

Brazilian soccer player Neymar poses on the red carpet of The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, April 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SAO PAULO — Brazil star Neymar said on Sunday he is "recovering well" from a foot injury and is on schedule to be ready for the World Cup.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker had surgery in March on a cracked fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

Neymar told a TV Globo variety show that he feels no pain, but he cannot put his injured foot on the ground without an orthopedic shoe. He arrived on stage using two walking sticks.

"There is still a month left, but I am recovering well. It is all according to plan," the Brazilian said. "I feel no pain; I am stepping little by little. I cannot walk freely without the shoe, but I am in treatment, I am working out at the gym too. I am preparing well."

The striker is widely expected to be on Brazil's final squad list that will be announced on May 14 in Rio de Janeiro by coach Tite.

Brazil's first game World Cup match in Group E is against Switzerland on June 17. Costa Rica and Serbia are next for the five-time world champions.

The 26-year-old forward was injured Feb. 25 in a French league game against Marseille.

Neymar said that he is not using his recovery time to watch potential adversaries in the tournament that begins on June 14 in Russia.

"I don't like to watch football, believe it or not. At home I never stop what I am doing to watch. I like to play, to be on the pitch," he said.

Asked whether he knew his former team Barcelona had been upset and knocked out of the Champions League by Roma, the Brazilian laughingly said: "I might have heard about that."

Neymar was signed by PSG for a world record 222 million euros ($260 million) from Barcelona last year.

The Brazilian also found time to praise Lionel Messi once more for his support during his time at the Camp Nou.

"I was charmed by the humility of a guy that has conquered everything, that is the best of all, asking me to be myself and show my best. He has no vanity. I tell that to my family, to all of my friends. He helped me a lot professionally and even more on the personal level," Neymar said.

The Brazilian also downplayed his disagreements with PSG teammate Edinson Cavani.

"Of course we had a certain friction, but we solved that soon afterward. Three days later we sat down and talked. We are both great players, but we are also men and he had to sort it out at the personal level, without telling anyone else," the Brazilian said.

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