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Neymar back injury healing 'satisfactorily'

World Leagues

Barcelona - Neymar's injured back is healing “satisfactorily” although there is no specific date for the Brazil forward to return to training, his club Barcelona said on Tuesday.

Neymar fractured a bone in his back following a challenge from Colombia defender Juan Zuniga in last month's World Cup quarter-final and was ruled out for the rest of the tournament.

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FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JULY 04: Neymar of Brazil is challenged by Juan Camilo Zuniga of Colombia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Castelao on July 4, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil. This tackle resulted in injury to Neymar and ended the player's World Cup. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old, who has targeted a return to action in a friendly on Aug. 18, had tests on his return to Barca after his post-World Cup holiday and the club said the results were “satisfactory”.

“The player will follow a specific recovery programme,” Barca said on their website (www.fcbarcelona.es).

“The progress of the injury will determine when he returns to training,” they added.

Barca play a friendly against Italian Serie A side Napoli in Geneva on Wednesday and said midfielder Xavi and defender Jeremy Mathieu, a new signing from Valencia, are unavailable due to minor muscle problems.

Argentina pair Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano and Brazil full back Daniel Alves, who only returned to training on Tuesday, were not included in the squad for the trip to Switzerland.

Barca begin their La Liga campaign at home to Elche on August 24.

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