Brazil will play Germany in the FIFA World Cup semi-finals without Neymar, who has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a fractured vertebra sustained in the 2-1 victory against Colombia on Friday.
The FC Barcelona forward, the Seleção's four-goal top scorer at the finals, was carried off in tears with two minutes remaining following a challenge by Camilo Zúñiga. The 22-year-old was taken to hospital in Fortaleza and the news the hosts feared was soon confirmed by Brazilian Football Association (CBF) doctor Rodrigo Lasma.
“Neymar had a scan, which confirmed he had fractured his third vertebra," said Lasmar. "In terms of the recovery process, it's a fracture that heals quickly, but unfortunately he'll be in no condition to play next week. It's not serious in the sense that it requires surgery, but he's in pain and he'll need to immobilise it to recover."
Brazil will also be missing suspended captain Thiago Silva, who received his second booking of the tournament against Colombia, on Tuesday for what is a repeat of the 2002 final.
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