22.05.2024 06:30 h

Injured Neymar set to miss start of next Saudi season

Neymar is set to miss the start of the next Saudi Pro League season as he recovers from a serious knee injury, Al Hilal's coach said Tuesday.

The Brazilian attacker suffered the injury in October and missed much of the current campaign, but Al Hilal still won the league for a record-extending 19th time earlier this month.

The Saudi league traditionally starts in August and the former Barcelona and PSG star will also miss next month's Copa America.

"All I know now is that the time given to Neymar to recover and with similar injuries it is approximately from 10 to 11 months," Al Hilal coach Jorge Jesus told reporters in Riyadh.

"If we calculate mathematically, he will not be ready at the beginning of pre-season training," added Jesus, whose champions have two games left in the current league campaign.

The 32-year-old Neymar had surgery in Brazil in November for a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus damage.

He was stretchered off in tears during Brazil's 2-0 loss to Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier in October after colliding with an opponent.

Neymar was ringside to see Oleksandr Usyk beat Tyson Fury to win boxing's first undisputed world heavyweight championship in 25 years in Riyadh on Sunday.

Neymar left PSG for Al Hilal in 2023, the latest world-famous footballer snapped up by the big-spending Saudi Pro League.

He earns 100 million euros a season in Saudi Arabia, while PSG pocketed 100 million euros in the deal.