Pochettino ponders 'lack of protection' for Neymar after PSG star's worrisome adductor injury

Neymar Pochettino PSG Caen 2020-21Getty / Goal

Neymar is in danger of missing Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League knockout tie against Barcelona next week, manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted, and the injury he suffered may have been the result of a "lack of protection" from referees.

The forward exited the pitch in pain during the second half of a Coupe de France match with Caen on Wednesday, heading straight down the tunnel for treatment.

Now, PSG must wait on further testing to the attacker's left adductor region to determine whether he can feature in the crucial first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash.

What did Pochettino say about Neymar's injury?

“We'll see tomorrow with the doctor," Pochettino told Eurosport. "At the moment it’s difficult to say. Can he be there next week? I need more time and more info to find out."

About the refereeing, Pochettino added in his press conference, "I don't want to take it out on the way the opponent played and the way [Neymar] played his game. But I just have the feeling that sometimes there is a lack of protection during matches from refereeing. But it's just a feeling."

Pochettino said he did not regret picking Neymar in the Coupe de France contest, noting Neymar "was in perfect condition to play today."

Neymar 2020-21 injury history

Neymar missed several weeks earlier in the campaign because of a small tear in his left adductor, which is part of the groin area. After Wednesday's match, Pochettino confirmed his latest injury was also to the adductor, though most of the specifics remain unknown.

Neymar also battled ankle problems at the turn of the year.

Additional PSG injuries

If Neymar is ruled out of the Barcelona match, it would leave PSG down two starting attackers. Winger Angel Di Maria is already sidelined with a muscle issue.

Midfielder Marco Verratti's health status remains uncertain, and he didn't make the bench in Wednesday's cup match.