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Neymar nears Barcelona return

Neymar says treatment for his anaemia problem is going well, and he is ready to take a full part in Barcelona’s pre-season preparations.

Barcelona put in an imperious attacking performance against Santos, led by Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Neymar joined Barcelona in June 2013 on a five-year contract.

• Tomas: Challenge on all fronts

The €57 million signing had an operation after suffering from tonsillitis following June’s Confederations Cup, and the already slender attacker has since reportedly lost over a stone due to a consequential blood issue.

The Brazilian international however assured reporters at a commercial event in Bangkok on Tuesday that he was on the mend and looking forward to joining his new team-mates at training ahead of Barca’s exhibition friendly against a Thailand XI on Wednesday.

"I am better," Neymar said. "The doctors are treating me but I already feel fine. I am ready to train."

The player’s father and agent had earlier given more details on his son’s current condition to Brazilian channel TV Globo, in quotes picked up by AS.

"The iron level in Neymar’s blood has dropped significantly," Neymar senior said. "The physical tiredness he has had in recent weeks is not normal and that is very concerning. As he had almost no fat to lose, he lost muscle mass."

Brazil’s national team doctor Jose Luiz Runco is less worried by the situation, telling AS that anaemia was a common and easily treated side-effect of the medical procedure he had undergone.

"You can have changes in the red blood cell level after a surgery like this," Runco said. "But with a good diet, in a few weeks, the situation is completely overcome."

The attacker’s weight will still be a certain concern to Barca’s medical staff, who even before the recent issues was reckoned to be below his optimum playing weight and had reportedly been given a special diet to help him fill-out to prepare with the demands of top level European football.


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