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Neymar set for minor throat surgery before move to Spain

Jul 1, 2013, 3:55 PM EDT

Brazil v Spain: Final - FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Getty Images

What’s next for a 21-year-old who’s the toast of the soccer world? A scalpel. And if Rio de Janeiro’s hospitals ascribe to the same remedies we do in North America, a lot of ice cream.

After four goals, two assists, the Golden Ball, and a first place finish in the Confederations Cup, Neymar is scheduled to go under the knife on Friday, ready for a procedure to address a persistent throat problem. According to Barcelona, the Brazilian star will undergo a tonsillectomy in Rio while his future teammate, left back Jordi Alba, will be undergoing the same procedure in Spain:

“It’s a problem that I have, my throat always bothers me, so we’re going to operate to resolve it once and for all,” he said, adding that it was not a serious issue.

The expected recovery time is 10 days, and while Neymar’s surgery will be done in Brazil, a Barcelona representative will be there to supervise the procedure.

That’s modern soccer of you. ‘I don’t care if it is just a tonsillectomy, we want our guy there!’

Some trivia about tonsillectomies: Here in the States, the procedure had been used almost exclusively for illness until recently. In the 1980s, 90 percent of cases in children were caused by recurrent infection. Now that number is down to 20 percent, with the other 80 percent undergoing the procedure to treat obstructive sleep problems (apnea).

Whatever the reason behind Neymar’s procedure, the date of operation and recovery timeline (assuming that takes place in Brazil) will put him in Spain just ahead of Barcelona’s first preseason friendly: July 20, against Polish club Lechia Gdansk.

Yes, the club season is just that close.

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