Brazilian soccer star Neymar actually thought he was paralyzed after Colombia’s Juan Zuniga kneed him in the back during Brazil’s 2-1 quarterfinal victory last Friday.
“He said: ‘I can’t feel my legs’,” Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari told The Guardian. “(Teammate) Marcelo (Viera) was scared and called the doctor on (the pitch), but the doctor couldn’t get on in the confusion. It was a big shock, the image of Neymar being stretchered off to the helicopter, in difficulty, crying.”
Neymar has been ruled out of World Cup competition after he fractured his third vertebrae.
He won’t need surgery, but he’ll be out of commission for four to six weeks — positive news, under the circumstances, considering the injury could have been much worse.
Neymar was airlifted to his home city of Guaruja in Sao Paulo where he’ll continue to undergo treatment and root for his team.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee is investigating the incident.
Meantime, Brazil, which has won more World Cup championships, takes on Germany in the semifinals on Tuesday.