World Cup: Neymar a full participant in Brazil training

June 20 (UPI) — Brazil’s Neymar was back on the training pitch and practicing with his teammates Wednesday in Sochi, Russia ahead of a World Cup match against Costa Rica.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar left Tuesday’s session early after experiencing ankle pain. He was escorted off of the field by the team’s medical staff.

The departure came after he was roughed up in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Sunday. Neymar was fouled 10 times during that matchup in Rostov-on-Don.

Brazil and Costa Rica battle at 8 a.m. Friday at Saint Petersburg Stadium.

The 26-year-old striker was dealing with pain in his right ankle. He suffered a season-ending foot injury on the same side in February while playing for PSG.

Neymar wore a bandage under his right shoe during Wednesday’s session.

Brazil star Philippe Coutinho commented on teams being physical with Neymar when he met with reporters Tuesday.

“Neymar is targeted on the pitch, receiving lots of fouls, lots of hits,” Coutinho said. “Of course, our strength lies in the team. At one match or another, a player can be a highlight, but our strength lies in the collective. That’s the most important thing.”

The Brazilian Football Confederation said that Neymar has been under the care of team physiotherapists in the last two days and is in a process of recovery after the Switzerland match.

Brazil sits tied with Switzerland for second place in Group E after one game. Serbia leads the group after beating Costa Rica 1-0 in its World Cup opener.

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