Why isn't Neymar playing against Manchester United? PSG star's absence explained

Neymar Paris Saint-Germain
The Brazil international is set to be sidelined for a long spell and has been absent for a crucial run of fixtures

As Paris Saint-Germain prepare to face off against Manchester United in the second leg of a massive Champions League round of 16 clash, they will be without a vital player in Neymar.

The Brazilian missed the first leg of the last 16 fixture and will also sit out the return fixture, an exclusion which is a major blow for manager Thomas Tuchel in PSG's pursuit for a first-ever Champions League trophy.

The 27-year-old sustained a metatarsal injury to his right foot during a Coupe de France match in late January, and the initial diagnosis revealed that he would miss up to around 10 weeks of action.

Neymar also suffered a similar injury to his foot last February that kept him out of the remainder of the 2017-18 season, including the second leg of the Champions League defeat to eventual winners Real Madrid.

Luckily for PSG, the absence of the former Barcelona star was not felt in the first leg as they roared to a 2-0 victory at Old Trafford thanks to goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe.


A post shared by EneJota 🇧🇷 👻 neymarjr (@neymarjr) on

Neymar's absence wasn't the only injury blow to PSG, as fellow strike partner Edinson Cavani also missed the first leg with a thigh injury and the Uruguay international remains a doubt for the second leg.

That means the pressure rests on Mbappe's shoulders once more to inspire the Ligue 1 giants to victory and a place in the quarter-finals.

When asked if Neymar's absence from the side is comparable to the likes of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo missing for Barcelona and Juventus respectively, Tuchel replied: “Let me put it in another way, would Manchester United miss [Paul] Pogba if he was not there, or [Marcus] Rashford?

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"Of course they will, you cannot replace quality players like this, Neymar is one of the key players in Europe and we miss him a lot and now we miss a second key player with Edinson.”

The player himself is busy recovering and appears to be determined to come back stronger, sharing a message on social media declaring "life is for warriors, nothing weakens me!"

PSG host Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 on March 6.