Ankle puts Neymar in doubt for Barca opener

16:56, Aug 22 2014

Barcelona forward Neymar has a sprained ankle and is struggling to face Elche on Sunday, the club said on Friday (local time).

"Neymar had a pain in his left ankle after finishing training on Thursday and tests have shown that the player has a grade one sprain," a statement read.

The Brazilian was only given the all-clear by medical staff at the Camp Nou on Monday after fracturing a vertebra playing for his country in the World Cup quarter-final against Colombia in early July.

Neymar looked lively in Barca's final friendly match against Mexican outfit Leon on Monday in which they won 6-0 and he bagged a brace.

Barca kick off the season at home to Elche under new coach Luis Enrique having had an overhaul of the team following their first season without a major trophy in six years.

Luis Suarez leads the list of arrivals after a £65 million transfer from Liverpool but he will not be available until late October due to his ban for biting at the World Cup.

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Reuters