X-Ray Supposedly Shows Neymar Was ‘One Inch Away’ From Being Paralysed By Zuniga’s Knee (Photo)

By Chris Wright

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It’s all a bit spurious, but there are reports emanating from Brazil suggesting that medical professionals have claimed Neymar came “within inches” of potentially being paralysed by Juan Zuniga’s knee last night.

Neymar was stretchered off the pitch and taken straight to hospital following the incident, with Brazil’s team doctor  Rodrigo Lasmar later confirming that the forward would play no further part in the World Cup.

As previously mentioned today, Zuniga has since become Public Enemy No.1 in Brazil for knackering their young superstar – with plenty of malicious threats being aimed his way in the various social media circles, despite publicly offering a prayer to his hospitalised opponent after the game.

“I hope it’s nothing serious, let’s pray to God,” Zuniga told reporters.

“On the pitch I’m defending my shirt, my country, but I didn’t expect him to fracture a vertebrae. He is a great talent for Brazil and for the world.”

“It’s a normal action, I tried to shadow him. I was not thinking of hurting him. I was defending my country’s colours.”

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Fans crowd outside the Sao Carlos Hospital in Rio where Neymar was taken for treatment

The sense of injustice and resentment was stoked this morning when images of Neymar’s hospital x-ray began to circulate, with doctors reportedly postulating that, had Zuniga’s knee landed an inch higher on Neymar’s spine, the Barcelona forward may well have been left paralysed…



In fairness, we have no idea what we’re looking at here, but we can’t help but feel that raking over hypothetical worse-case-scenarios is going to do anybody any good.

Posted in Injuries, Newsnow, Transfers & Rumours, World Cup

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  1. Milk says:

    “In fairness, we have no idea what we’re looking at here, but we can’t help but feel that raking over hypothetical worse-case-scenarios is going to do anybody any good.”

    You have no idea???? It’s an X-RAY of a fractured vertebrae. No?

  2. Jenko says:

    Completely false story. For one, it would be illegal for Neymar’s medical records (including xray of the spine) to be released to anyone outside of his medical team, nevermind the public and the media.

  3. Smeik says:

    Because people doing illegal things is something completely unheard of in this day and age…

  4. Zam says:

    Didn’t a doctor who read one of the articles about this point out to whatever newspaper that the x-ray didn’t even show an injury to the same vertebrae than the one that Neymar is claimed to have injured.

  5. Cam says:

    Look at how much tissue there is behind the spine in this pic… that looks like an x-ray of a fatso, not a world-class athlete

  6. Soccer Steve says:

    He should have been taken off the field strapped to a neck and spine brace, keeping him from moving and potentially doing further damage. But he’s a diving swan and a boy who cried wolf so not even the medics believed he was actually hurt.

  7. Arsene Wenger says:

    Thats not an Xray. Maybe a CT

  8. footballvisitor says:

    That xray seems like a spondylosis case rather than an injury.

  9. john says:

    1) the darker tissue is fat. hence there is very little fat over the spine, but plenty of muscle.
    2) this is not an x-ray of spondylosis.
    3) while limited to just one slice, the fracture looks to be through the spinous process at that level. if that fx is “one inch away” from being paralyzed then we are all one inch away from being paralyzed. the fracture is stable and does not encroach on the canal at all. the boney arch is the most strong, much stronger than the spinous process, in a trama so measuring doesn’t do much here. so no surgery and any brace is for comfort.

  10. john says:

    also, it’s not illegal for someone to hand over medical records. it’s illegal (at least in the US) without consent. neymar may well have consented to release the records to put everyone at ease.

  11. Thomas Bollen says:

    This is definitevely NOT a fracture…
    The photo which is shown here is a sagittal reconstruction of a CT. It shows an interruption of the pars articularis of a lumbar spine; most common a congenital deformity.

    Not a fracture because the margins of the so-called fracture are sclerotic (appear white) and regular, whereas in a real fracture the margins would be irregular and appear gray (density of bone marrow).

    Also the mechanism of trauma doesn’t fit with this kind of fracture. A fracture of the transverse process or spinal process would be more likely.

    By the way: I’m a radiologist…

  12. Dhiren Patel says:

    I agree with Thomas Bollen’s interpretation of this single image. I would like to see the contralateral side as this appears to be a pars defect and there is likely one on the opposite side, although they can be unilateral. I am also a radiologist.

  13. Lisa says:

    I’ve run it past several colleagues who are radiologists and orthopaedic surgeons and the universal consensus is that it’s congenital rather than traumatic. FWIW.

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