Brazil's World Cup hopes have suffered a massive blow after it was confirmed that Neymar has suffered a broken vertebrae in his back and will miss the rest of the tournament.
The Barcelona forward went down injured in the closing stages of Brazil's 2-1 win over Colombia to reach the semi-finals of the competition and a showdown with Germany.
Neymar received a knee in the back from Colombian Juan Zuniga, and immediately collapsed to the floor holding his back. He was carried off on a stretcher and taken to the nearest hospital in Fortazela, where the fracture was confirmed.
Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari said Neymar was "crying out in pain" as he was transferred to the medical facility. The challenge from Zuniga fractured one of the vertebrae bones in Neymar's back and the Brazilian team doctor confirmed it's an injury that he will not be able to return from quickly.
Team doctor quotes
"This news is not easy but he will not be available for the rest of the World Cup," said Rodrigo Lasmar, Brazil's team doctor. "Neymar has a broken vertebra. He will be out for four to six weeks."
Zuniga has defended his challenge, calling it a "normal move" and insisted that he never went out to hurt the Brazilian poster boy.
While obviously gutting for Neymar and disappointing for the tournament as a spectacle, Brazil's treatment of Colombia's superstar James Rodriguez was actually the bigger talking point during the game.
Rodriguez was subjected to some rough tackles from the Brazilian back-line, but still dominated the match and was its best player.
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