Al-Hilal Face New Saudi Season Without Neymar

Neymar injury recovery

RIYADH: Neymar will miss Al-Hilal’s pre-season training as he continues recovering from knee surgery, coach Jorge Jesus announced on Tuesday.

“Recovery from this type of injury typically takes around 10 to 11 months,” Jesus explained. “Mathematically, Neymar won’t be ready for the start of pre-season.”

Neymar underwent surgery in Brazil last November for a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus damage, sustained during a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay. The 32-year-old was stretchered off in tears during Brazil’s 2-0 loss on October 17, after a collision with Nicolas de la Cruz.

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Despite his absence from the field, Neymar has been active off it. He attended the historic Usyk vs. Fury fight in Riyadh and had a $3 million environmental fine suspended in Brazil. In March, he threw the ceremonial first pitch at an MLB game in Miami and appeared at the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix. Additionally, a probe into his 2017 transfer to PSG saw French authorities search the finance ministry in January.

Neymar, who joined Al-Hilal from PSG in 2023 for 100 million euros, earning the same annually, missed Brazil’s Copa America squad this month. Jesus acknowledged Neymar’s absence as a challenge but pointed to Brazilian winger Malcolm, who scored 22 goals in 46 games, as a key solution.

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