Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar was pictured alongside his mum and doctor Rodrigo Lasmar as the pair arrived in Belo Horizonte ahead of the player’s foot operation.
The Brazilian superstar is to go under the knife to fix a broken bone in his right foot after he picked up the injury in a 3-0 win over Marseille.
With the club initially suggesting he did not require surgery, the forward is in his native Brazil and arrived at the Mater Dei Hospital late on Friday.
Local media were clearly privy to his timed arrival as a swarm of photographers greeted Neymar, mum Nadine Goncalves Da Silva and Lasmar as they drove to the hospital entrance.
Given Neymar is Brazil’s shining light and will be expected to fire the country to World Cup glory in Russia this summer, the decision to operate on the injured foot quickly could prove pivotal in getting him back to fitness.
Doctor Lasmar, quoted on the website of Brazilian newspaper O Globo, said the world’s most expensive footballer was resigned to the lengthy lay-off.
Lasmar said: ‘Neymar suffered a fracture to the fifth metatarsal, it is an important fracture in a foot bone. The operation will be in Belo Horizonte on Saturday morning, and the recovery takes from two-and-a-half months to three months.
‘Neymar is sad, but understands that he has no alternative now. He will devote himself to being well as soon as possible. We will do our best to get him ready as soon as possible.’
PSG had hoped Neymar could have been rehabilitated without the need for surgery, especially with the Champions League visit of Real Madrid fast approaching but it was a hope that faded quickly.
The Parisians trail Real 3-1 after the first leg in Madrid and will sorely miss Neymar who has scored 19 and assisted 13 of their 84 Ligue 1 goals this season.
His absence makes PSG even bigger underdogs against Real but they should have no trouble retaining their domestic crown without him as they currently lead Ligue 1 rivals Monaco by 14 points with 11 games to play.