Blow for Barcelona as Neymar suffers left ankle sprain ahead of La Liga opener

AFP| Updated: Aug 22, 2014, 15:28 PM IST

Brazilian superstar Neymar has suffered an ankle sprain in training, Barcelona announced Friday, adding to the club`s injury woes just two days before opening their new La Liga campaign.

Neymar complained of pain in his left ankle at the end of Thursday`s training session and tests confirmed he had suffered a mild sprain, Barcelona reported as they prepared to face Elche at home on Sunday.

"His return to training will depend on the development of the injury," the club said in a statement.

The Brazilian had looked to be in fine form Monday when he scored two of Barcelona`s goals in their 6-0 destruction of Mexican side Club Leon in a friendly.

Neymar`s new injury comes just four days after he had received the all-clear to play for the first time since suffering a broken vertebra in his back during the World Cup.

The 22-year-old missed out on his country`s disastrous 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil after suffering the injury when he was clattered by Juan Camilo Zuniga towards the end of Brazil`s 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia.

However, the injury could have been much worse as Neymar revealed that had the impact of Zuniga`s knee on his back been slightly higher he could have been left paralysed.

Barcelona`s new signings Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Thomas Vermaelen are also both sidelined by injury, while Luis Suarez continues his four-month ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup.