Brazil star Douglas Costa could reportedly miss most of the remaining matches of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, having sustained a thigh injury in the Samba Boys' nervy 2-0 win over Costa Rica in Group E in St Petersburg on Friday.
According to Brazilan newspaper O Globo, the winger may need 15 to 20 days in order to recover from his injury - although, according to one medical specialist, he could be back much sooner.
Sports traumatology specialist Leonardo Metsavaht, who was quoted extensively in the article, explained: "It's possible that there was no rupture of the fibre. If so, the player can return in about five days."
However, Metsavaht also warned that, if the player's muscle fibre has been ruptured, a full recovery could take up to three weeks. This means that - in the worst case scenario - Costa will only just be back in time for the final in Moscow on July 15th - should Brazil survive the intervening rounds.
Even if it takes the winger only 15 days to recover, he will still only be back in time for the semi-final - again, assuming that Brazil get there. At the time of writing, the Samba Boys are yet to play their final group match against Serbia, in which they need at least a point to qualify for the round of 16.
If he is out for such a long spell, it will surely be heartbreaking for the 27-year-old Juventus star, who has won 26 caps for his country, scoring three goals. Even if he is available for the semi-final or the final, he would hardly be guaranteed an immediate return to the starting lineup after three or four matches in his absence.
However, Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar stressed that Costa had only suffered a 'minor' injury, refusing to give further details - although he did also acknowledge that the injury was 'unprecedented' for the winger.
In any case, Costa will definitely miss Brazil's final Group E clash with Serbia, which will take place on Wednesday in the Otkritiye Arena.