Barça's Neymar to miss up to a month with ankle sprain

Barcelona, Jan 17 (EFE).- FC Barcelona striker Neymar will be out of action for up to a month after spraining his right ankle during a Copa del Rey match against Getafe, the club said Friday.

Neymar underwent tests on his ankle shortly after the team arrived from Madrid following Thursday night's match, which the Blaugrana won 2-0 to wrap up a 6-0 victory on aggregate and advance to the quarterfinals of that competition.

The 21-year-old Brazilian phenom, who signed a five-year deal with Barcelona last May, left the game in the first half after coming down awkwardly on his right ankle while trying to center the ball.

"Tests conducted on Friday morning have confirmed that Neymar has sprained peroneal tendons in his right ankle. He is expected to be out of action for three to four weeks," the club said in a statement on its Web site.

Neymar, who was making his first start of 2014, will certainly miss three La Liga games versus Levante, Malaga and Valencia, as well as the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, a home-and-away series against Levante, the statement added.

However, his recovery timetable suggests Neymar could be back in time for a Spanish-league match against Rayo Vallecano in mid-February, just days before Barça and Manchester City play the first leg of their much-anticipated Champions League round-of-16 showdown on Feb. 18 at Etihad Stadium.