Aug 14, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT
After six weeks on the sidelines following his horror back injury at the World Cup, Neymar has returned to full training for FC Barcelona earlier than expected.
The Brazilian winger, 22, was the star man for Selecao on home soil as he guided the host nation to the semifinals with four goals in five games. He also won the bronze boot as the tournament’s third top scorer and was named in the World Cup All Star XI.
[RELATED: Neymar breaks vertebrae]
Neymar was ruled out of Brazil’s 7-1 semifinal defeat to Germany with a fractured vertebrae in his back following a challenge from Colombia’s Juan Zuniga in the quarterfinal tie. The Colombian player drove his knee into Neymar’s back but did not face any punishment during or since for the challenge which broke a bone in Neymar’s back.
With Barca’s season set to kick off on Aug. 24 against Elche, Neymar is an outsider to feature in that match as he continues his road to recovery.
With just under two weeks to build up his fitness and get in some game action, the former Santos star could feature on the bench for Luis Enrqiue’s new-look side. As of Thursday Neymar had not yet been cleared by team doctors to play in games but returning to full training is a huge step in the right direction.
- Stars of CONCACAF: Ranking the top 10 players at the 2015 Gold Cup 2
- “Angel Di Maria has most talent at Manchester United,” says teammate. Agree? 6
- VIDEO: Breaking down the done deals and transfer gossip in PST Extra 0
- Liverpool complete $20 million signing of Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton 1
- Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup roundup: Union, Orlando, Chicago move on as Charlotte bounced 2
- With the World Cup on the line, the USWNT gave us a vintage performance to savor 3