Galtier claims Neymar ankle sprain triggered by PSG's hectic schedule

By Sports Desk February 19, 2023

Christophe Galtier claims Paris Saint-Germain's intense fixture schedule played a part in Neymar's latest injury.

Neymar was taken from the field on a stretcher early in the second half of PSG's scintillating Ligue 1 clash with Lille on Sunday, which Galtier's team won 4-3 thanks to Lionel Messi's stunning late free-kick.

Brazilian forward Neymar appeared to go over on his right ankle while challenging Benjamin Andre, and Galtier said the early diagnosis was a sprain.

That could make Neymar a doubt to feature for PSG in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich on March 8.

Asked if bad luck was responsible for the 31-year-old's issue, Galtier told reporters: "No, it's not bad luck.

"There are always reasons for injuries: the schedule, the sequence of games. There is no chance [it is just luck].

"Of course it complicates things and that's the way it is. We have to keep our heads down. We're going to do it again, but with a victory. That's more pleasant."

Neymar has played nine times since PSG's season restarted after the World Cup, in which he also suffered an ankle injury.

The 31-year-old played the whole 90 minutes in Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Bayern, and in the league loss at Monaco three days earlier.

"[Neymar] is being examined," explained Galtier, who also had to take Nuno Mendes off due to an injury. "He went quickly to have tests to know the severity of his sprain.

"Nuno Mendes stretched his medial collateral ligament a little bit, but it really doesn't look serious at all."

Galtier said ahead of the game that he had spoken with Neymar after the forward was pictured in a McDonald's during a midweek night out in Paris.

 

Neymar set up Kylian Mbappe's opener at the Parc des Princes and then made it 2-0 to PSG in the 17th minute, but Lille hauled themselves level through Bafode Diakite and Jonathan David's controversially awarded penalty.

Jonathan Bamba completed the turnaround for Lille, who boasted a better expected goals (xG) total than their hosts (2.5 to 2.3), but Mbappe equalised before Messi curled in a wonderful free-kick in the fifth minute of added time.

"The difference on this game? It's very easy. The difference was Messi, it was Mbappe," said Lille coach Paulo Fonseca.

"That's the difference, because I think the whole game we dominated.

"We created a few chances, we played our game, and I think we deserved another result. But that's how it is, that's football. But I think the difference was Messi and Mbappe."

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