February 26, 2018 / 1:49 PM / 21 days ago

Zidane hopes Neymar overcomes injury to face Real

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is hoping Paris St Germain forward Neymar recovers from injury for the return leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on March 6.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Betis vs Real Madrid - Estadio Benito Villamarin, Seville, Spain - February 18, 2018 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane before the match REUTERS/Jon Nazca

The world’s most expensive player was seen crying as he was carried off towards the end of PSG’s 3-0 win over Olympique de Marseille on Sunday, meaning his side had to play the remainder of the game with 10 men as they had used all three substitutes.

PSG coach Unai Emery said he wanted to be optimistic that his 222-million euro (194.93 million pounds)signing would be available to face Real as the French league leaders bid to overcome a 3-1 deficit to avoid an early exit from the tournament.

“I don’t like to see players get injured and I hope he can be back for the game, I never want a player to miss a game due to injury,” Zidane told a news conference ahead of his side’s Liga game against Espanyol on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it (the injury) will have a big influence on the game, as there will always be someone who can play instead of him. I was watching the game and I was sad when he (Neymar) got injured.”

Neymar posted a picture of his heavily bandaged ankle on Instagram on Monday but did not comment on the extend of the injury.

The Brazilian has scored 28 times and provided 16 assists for PSG this season, although he gave a disappointing display against Real at the Bernabeu two weeks ago.

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond

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