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Barcelona: Brazil's Neymar progressing very well

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Neymar is progressing ''very well'' from the back injury that caused the Brazil striker to exit the World Cup, according to Barcelona.

The Spanish league club said on its website that officials visited Neymar at his home in Brazil where he will remain until returning to Barcelona on Aug. 5 to continue the final phase of his recovery from a fractured vertebra.

''The Brazilian football federation's announcement of (Neymar's injury) was confirmed and the club has given its consent to the treatment by the CBF,'' Barcelona said. ''His recovery from the injury is progressing very well and from Aug. 5 the player will continue the final phase of his treatment in Barcelona.''

Barcelona will hope to have Neymar available for its season-opener, which is expected to be scheduled for late August.

Neymar sustained the back injury in the 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Colombia, leaving Brazil without its top attacking player for Tuesday's 7-1 humiliating semifinal loss to Germany. It was Brazil's worst loss in its 100-year history, matching the margin of a 6-0 defeat to Uruguay in 1920.

Neymar, who joined Barcelona last season, scored four goals in five games at the World Cup, where Brazil will look to salvage some pride on Saturday against the Netherlands in the third-place playoff.

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