Speed Reads

World Cup

Brazilian star Neymar out of World Cup after freak injury

Neymar, Brazil's enigmatic forward and leading goal scorer, will miss the remainder of the World Cup after fracturing a vertebra in his back during Friday's win over Colombia.

The 22-year-old was carried off the field on a stretcher after taking a knee to the back in an ill-advised challenge from Colombia's Juan Zuniga. Brazil's team doctor described the fracture as "not serious," saying it would not need surgery. Still, it is serious enough that Neymar will have no chance of returning to the pitch before the tournament ends.

The injury strips Brazil of its most dynamic offensive weapon and clouds the team's odds of winning the tournament on its home soil. Brazil will face a dangerous German team in the semifinals.