Neymar was in tears as he left the field with an apparent knee injury at the end of the first half of Brazil’s World Cup qualifying match at Uruguay on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old striker tripped and fell during a run in the 44th minute at the Centenario Staidum and was immediately surrounded by players from both teams as he held his left knee, screaming in agony.
Neymar was carried off on a stretcher with both of his hands on his face, looking in visible pain.
Brazil FA sources said Neymar had sustained a severe left knee sprain and that he would undergo tests to determine if there was ligament damage.
Neymar, who plays for Al Hilal of the Saudi Pro League, was criticized by fans before the World Cup qualifier because of his subpar performance during Thursday’s 1-1 draw between host Brazil and Venezuela.
He headed to Saudi Arabia in August on an astounding deal that will see him earn around $300m on a two-year contract.
But if his knee injury is as bad as it appears on first look, it could sideline him for most of the first year of his contract. The Saudi league runs in parallel with the European season, with the current 2023-24 season ending in May next year.
Brazil lost the game 2-0 on the night in Montevideo. Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez opened the scoring in the first half – two minutes before Neymar was hurt.
Nicolas de la Cruz made the victory safe for Uruguay in the second half, 13 minutes from time.
The defeat leaves Brazil third in the CONMEBOL standings and face Colombia and World Cup holders Argentina next month.