Preview: Barcelona vs Elche- Neymar Faces Fitness Test

Barcelona forward Neymar has sprained his ankle in training and faces a late fitness assessment to feature on Sunday against Elche.

The club announced earlier on Friday that Neymar, whose brace helped the Catalans clinch Joan Gamper Trophy on Monday, complained of some feelings of discomfort in his left ankle after Thursday’s session.

“Tests have confirmed that the player has a Grade 1 ankle sprain. The Club’s medical team has indicated that his return to training will depend on how the injury treatment evolves,” a club statement read.

The Brazil international received his medical discharge from the back injury that he suffered during the World Cup on Monday.

Neymar Celebrates Goal Against Atletico Madrid Last Season.
Neymar Celebrates Goal Against Atletico Madrid Last Season.

Summer signings Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Thomas Vermaelen are both sidelined for Sunday’s clash, while Luis Suarez continues his four-month biting ban.

Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and midfielder Ivan Rakitic are in line for their competitive debut at the Camp Nou.

Nonetheless, Barcelona will be looking to get off to a perfect start to the 2014/15 La Liga season, following a disastrous end last term. The match will mark the return of former captain Luis Enrique as manager of the club after replacing Gerardo Martino in the close season.

Elche stopped Martino’s men from claiming successive Spanish league title in the penultimate game of last season after the visitors failed to break the deadlock at the Estadio Martinez Valero.