Brazil’s Neymar is fit for South Korea, says coach Tite

Brazil striker Neymar will train later on Sunday and will play for the five-time champions in their World Cup final-16 match against South Korea after recovering from an ankle injury, coach Tite said.

Neymar suffered the injury in Brazil’s opening 2-0 win over Serbia, ruling him out of their 1-0 win over Switzerland and the shock defeat to Cameroon, one of the squad’s many injury woes.

“Neymar is training in the afternoon today and if he trains well, he will play,” Tite told a press conference.

Neymar has a lot of trouble with his right foot and had surgery four years ago for a broken metatarsal bone.

The news of his return to the starting line-up came after Thiago Silva was asked at a press conference if Neymar would play and Tite grabbed the microphone and said “yes”.

It will be warmly received in a squad plagued by fitness issues, with Danilo also hurting his ankle against Serbia and Alex Sandro picking up a hip injury against the Swiss.

Alex Telles and attacker Gabriel Jesus, who suffered a knee injury against Cameroon, were ruled out for the rest of the tournament on Saturday.

Tite said Danilo was also fit to return against South Korea on Monday, but Sandro was out.

“He can’t play. Still recovering. Danilo and Neymar are back,” he said

Tite stressed that Neymar’s return was with the full support of the team’s medical staff and that the player’s physical health was the priority.

“If he plays, it’s because he’s in good health and ready to start, to play from the beginning and the whole game with no restrictions,” Tite said.

“My preference is always to play against my best players from the start.”

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