Barcelona, Brazil sweat on Neymar injury
Barcelona forward Neymar faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a suspected sprained tendon in his right ankle during the club's Copa Del Rey tie at Getafe on Thursday evening.
Barca cruised into the quarterfinals, where they will meet Levante, winning 2-0 on the night, and 6-0 on aggregate.
But their passage into the last-eight has been marred by an injury to their Brazilian superstar, whose ankle gave way as he tried to pull a ball back across the box from the line in the 28th minute.
No Getafe defender was close to Neymar, who immediately held up an arm for attention from the physio and was surrounded by teammates checking on his welfare.
He did not need a stretcher and was eventually helped back to the changing rooms by two members of the Barca backroom staff. He will undergo further tests on Friday to determine the extent of his injury and how many games he will miss.
The news is sure to be a worry for Brazil ahead of this summer's World Cup finals, although with five months still to go until they open the tournament against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12, the striker will hope for a positive prognosis.
Neymar sprained the peroneal tendon in his right ankle. He will undergo additional tests tomorrow. #FCBLive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 16, 2014
While Barca seem certain to be without Neymar for a number of weeks, they were boosted by the return to the starting lineup of Lionel Messi -- who duly scored both goals in the 44th and 63rd minutes. Messi had made his first appearance after a two-month injury layoff in the first leg -- and scored twice in that game too despite only being introduced with 26 minutes left on the clock.
In the day's other game, Javier Ros Anon's 33rd minute goal was enough to give Real Sociedad a 1-0 aggregate win at Villarreal -- though the home side were left to rue a missed penalty by Jeremy Perbet with 15 minutes left. Sociedad meet Racing Santander in the quarterfinals.
Real Madrid -- who are in the opposite half of the draw to Barca, meaning the Spanish giants could meet in the final -- will face Espanyol while Atletico Madrid square up against Athletic Bilbao in the other two-legged ties, to be played over the next two midweeks.
Atletico and Real Madrid are on course to meet in the semifinals.