Neymar suffers broken vertebra, out for World Cup

The Sports NetworkJuly 4, 2014 

Fortaleza, Brazil ( - Brazil may have advanced to the semifinals of the World Cup on Friday, but the team's hopes still took a hit as star forward Neymar was ruled out for the rest of the tournament with a broken vertebra.

The 22-year-old sustained the injury in the 88th minute of Brazil's 2-1 quarterfinal win when Colombia's Juan Zuniga jumped to challenge for a header and struck Neymar in the back with his knee.

Neymar had to be stretchered off the field and was replaced by Henrique for the final few minutes as Brazil hung on to its lead to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2002.

Brazil will face Germany on Tuesday in the last four, but the Selecao will be without their leading scorer, Neymar, who has netted four goals in five games and assisted on the team's opening goal on Friday, while captain Thiago Silva will also miss out on Tuesday's match through suspension.

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed the extent of Neymar's injury on Friday after the forward went to the hospital for observation, and Lasmar said that the injury will not require surgery.

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