BELO HORIZONTE – Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar was to leave hospital Sunday after a successful operation on his broken foot, but it will be six weeks before doctors know when the world's most expensive player can train again.
Neymar was due to be discharged in the early hours of the morning from the Mater Dei hospital in Belo Horizonte, 24 hours after surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot.
The operation was declared a complete success.
Now the question is whether the 26-year-old can catch any of PSG's remaining season, and even what kind of shape he'll be in at the start of Brazil's World Cup campaign in Russia this June.
"The recovery time will depend on the player's evolution. In six weeks we will make a new evaluation," Lasmar said after performing the operation.
Gerard Saillant, the French doctor representing PSG at the hospital, told journalists that the timing of Neymar's return to full training could only be given at the six-week mark.
"It is absolutely impossible to give you the slightest detail before those six weeks," he said.
On Thursday, Lasmar said the star player -- whose transfer from Barcelona cost PSG a record 222 million euros ($264 million) last August -- would need at least two and a half months, maybe three, to return.
This would put him uncomfortably close to the start of the World Cup on June 14, including missing two friendly warm-up games.
After his one hour and 15 minute operation, Neymar spent his Saturday afternoon in a hospital bed watching live TV coverage of PSG's Ligue 1 game against Troyes, Saillant said.
PSG won 2-0, but Neymar's absence will be keenly felt during Tuesday's Champions League showdown against Real Madrid.
The striker has scored 28 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions for the club -- a prolific tally that came to a halt February 25 when he broke his foot during a 3-0 drubbing of Marseille.
Amid reports of tensions between PSG and Brazil's footballing authorities over Neymar's medical treatment, PSG insisted that it would be in charge of his recuperation.
"The post-operation rehabilitation will begin immediately under the control of the club's physiotherapist," PSG said in a statement on their website.
Earlier, Paris newspaper L'Equipe reported that PSG believe Lasmar lied about Neymar's condition.
The report said that Neymar was initially found to have suffered a minor fracture at the Marseille game and that PSG were shocked when Lasmar declared it was a serious break requiring longer than expected recuperation time.
However, doctors stressed Saturday that there was no friction between PSG and Brazil's federation, the CBF.
"Contrary to what might have been written or said..., decisions already taken and those to come have had the complete agreement of Neymar of course, and of his family, all the staff at PSG, the medical staff, the organization and management of PSG, and the representatives of the CBF," Saillant said.
"There is absolutely no split, despite what was written."