Barcelona forward Neymar has a sprained ankle and is struggling to face Elche on Sunday, the club said on Friday. “Neymar had a pain in his left ankle after finishing training on Thursday and tests have shown that the player has a grade one sprain,” a statement read.
The Brazilian was only given the all-clear by medical staff at the Camp Nou on Monday after fracturing a vertebra playing for his country in the World Cup quarter-final against Colombia in early July.
Neymar looked lively in Barca’s final friendly match against Mexican outfit Leon on Monday in which they won 6-0 and he bagged a brace.
Barca kick off the season at home to Elche under new coach Luis Enrique having had an overhaul of the team following their first season without a major trophy in six years.
Luis Suarez leads the list of arrivals after a 65 million pounds ($107.76 million) transfer from Liverpool but he will not be available until late October due to his ban for biting at the World Cup.
Elche provided a major stumbling block between Barcelona and the Liga title last season as they held Martino’s men 0-0 at their own Martinez Valero Stadium in the penultimate game of the campaign. And defender David Lomban believes his side can take heart from that result to the Camp Nou. “There is never a good time to face Barcelona, but it also wasn’t a good time towards the end of last season and we managed to get a draw,” he added.