Martino allays Neymar ankle injury fears

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has called for calm, claiming Neymar's ankle 'is not so bad' after the Brazilian's injury scare on Thursday.

Neymar twisted his right ankle in the first half versus Getafe, as he spun to cut the ball back in the penalty area and with footage of his boot pointing at an unnatural angle, there were fears the Brazilian forward could have suffered a long-term injury.

But after Barcelona triumphed 2-0 to qualify for the Copa del Rey quarter-finals with a 6-0 aggregate win, Martino claimed the initial assessment by Barca's doctors was that Neymar's ankle was in better shape than expected.

"The situation didn't look good when you saw it happen and you thought he might be out for a while but thank God it is not as serious as it appeared and he'll be back playing soon," the Argentine coach said.

"The doctors after the game have said it is not so bad and so if tests confirm it then it is not something serious."

Lionel Messi struck either side of half-time in Barcelona's win at Getafe's Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with the 26-year-old Argentine attacker starting his first match since returning from a hamstring injury.

After the game, Barcelona fullback Dani Alves posted a photo of himself hugging Messi on Instagram, claiming 'the Ferrari is fixed'.

It was a sentiment supported by Martino.

"It was only a question of time until Messi played 90 minutes," Martino said.

"He's been taking it little-by-little and he's feeling better. He just needed some playing time after being out 60 days."

Messi has scored four goals in three games since returning to action.


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