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World Cup -‘Neymar will be ready for Colombia’

World Cup 2014
SAO PAOLO — Brazil star Neymar will be fit to face Colombia in Friday’s World Cup quarterfinal in Fortaleza

SAO PAOLO — Brazil star Neymar will be fit to face Colombia in Friday’s World Cup quarterfinal in Fortaleza, a spokesman for the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) confirmed on Monday.

“It is not a problem for the game. He is undergoing treatment for a heavy knock to the (right) knee and another lesser knock to the (left) hamstring,” CBF communications director Rodrigo Paiva told journalists at Brazil’s training base in Teresopolis.

“It might reduce his involvement in training, but there is no risk for the game.”

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari had raised some doubt as to Neymar’s chances of playing against Colombia after he came out of Saturday’s dramatic last-16 win against Chile in Belo Horizonte battered and bruised.

“We need to evaluate it, but we should have three, four or five days to try and make sure he can play the next game,” said Scolari on Saturday of Neymar, who took a heavy knock to the thigh after a crunching challenge from Charles Aranguiz with the match just four minutes old.

However, he continued playing and scored a crucial penalty in the shoot-out which the hosts won 3-2 to progress to the last eight.

Paiva added that centre-back David Luiz had “improved a lot” after back trouble initially put his involvement against Chile in some doubt, while midfielder Oscar was suffering from a “large scratch” to the back of a leg.

Paiva, meanwhile, has been banned from any involvement in the Colombia game by Fifa after allegedly punching Chilean player Mauricio Pinilla following Saturday’s match. — Reuters