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Brazil doctors give Neymar, Douglas Costa injury updates

Brazil have won a record-breaking five World Cups. Can Tite's men make it six in Russia?
After humiliation on home soil for Brazil in 2014, Ian Darke and ESPN's expert panel feel redemption could be in the cards for Neymar and company.
The ESPN FC panel are joined by Raf Honigstein to dissect Brazil's chances of winning the World Cup following the release of their 23-man squad.

TERESOPOLIS, Brazil -- Neymar's recovery from a foot injury has been better than expected, Brazil's medical staff said on Wednesday, but added that a thigh problem sustained by winger Douglas Costa will affect his preparations for the tournament.

Neymar was back in training with the national team on Tuesday after being sidelined since late February with a broken bone in his right foot. He underwent surgery in Brazil on March 3.

Brazil's fitness coach Fabio Mahseredjian said it may take time before Neymar is back to full fitness but that the striker is moving in the right direction.

"We don't know how far a top athlete like him can go, but I can say his development has been above what we expected," Mahseredjian said. "We have started working one month before our World Cup opener, and until the end of the group stage there is more than a month.

"I believe that training with the squad, being monitored like he is now, with daily follow-ups, Neymar is very well taken care of. ... It will be important [to see Neymar] when he plays 11 against 11 on a reduced pitch. We will try to speed up his adaptation so he picks up his game pace."

Meanwhile, Costa is recovering from a minor right thigh injury but Brazil doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said the winger will be fit in time for the World Cup.

Lasmar said Costa picked up the injury during Juventus' 2-1 win against Verona last weekend. He said the Brazil reserve is not expected to start training on the pitch with his teammates until the end of the week.

The doctor added that it's still unclear whether Costa will play in Brazil's pre-World Cup friendlies against Croatia on June 3 and against Austria one week later. But he said the forward will remain a part of the World Cup squad.

"He is being followed day by day so he can be cleared [to go to training]," Lasmar said. "Today we are not working with the hypothesis of taking players out [of the squad]."

Brazil are training Teresopolis, outside Rio de Janeiro, before moving camp to North London until June 8.

Left-back Marcelo, midfielder Casemiro and striker Roberto Firmino will join the squad in London on Monday after Real Madrid and Liverpool meet in the Champions League final in Kiev.

Brazil are grouped with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in the World Cup.

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