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Soccer: Barcelona’s Neymar out 3-4 weeks with ankle sprain

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FC Barcelona's Neymar from Brazil, centre, leaves the field injured during a Spanish Copa del Rey match between FC Barcelona and Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

The Associated Press

First published Jan 17 2014 08:56AM
Updated Jan 17, 2014 11:40PM

Barcelona, Spain • Right after Lionel Messi returned from an injury, Barcelona lost Neymar for three to four weeks because of a sprained ankle.

The Brazilian striker was hurt in Thursday’s 2-0 Copa del Rey victory at Getafe. He was attempting to extend his dribble in the 22nd minute, falling under his own weight without any contact from an opponent.

The Spanish league leaders said Friday scans revealed the extent of the injury to the right ankle. His absence comes after Messi rejoined the team following a two-month break because of a hamstring injury.

Neymar will miss Spanish league matches against Levante, Malaga and Valencia, plus the Copa del Rey quarterfinal match against Levante.

Neymar, who has 10 goals in all competitions, has had an irregular start to his Barcelona career. The 21-year-old Brazilian developed anemia and missed games because of a hip injury and a stomach bug this season.

Also, his $74 million move from Santos is under scrutiny as a Madrid court investigates where $54 million of the transfer fee went.

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