In February, Neymar Jr.'s dream of captaining Brazil in the World Cup had seemed to have ended even before a ball was kicked. The Paris Saint-Germain forward suffered a fractured metatarsal on his right foot in a Ligue 1 match against Marseille. Neymar broke into tears as he was carried out on a stretcher.
On the advice of Brazil's team doctor, Rodrigo Lasmar, the world's most expensive player went under the knife in March. Lasmar circled in a return date of May 17 based on his rehabilitation process.
After his successful return to training, Neymar came off the bench to score a sublime goal against Croatia last week. He dribbled past three defenders before thumping the ball into the net off the crossbar.
Coach Tite claimed after the match that his star forward was only '80%' ready for the showpiece event in Russia and Neymar agreed with his assessment.
"It has been three months since the injury," Neymar told reporters.
"To be back to do what I love the most, which is to play football, and even score a goal... I'm very happy.
"But I still have some fear, a certain fear, but little by little, with each training session, I'm letting myself go."
It is worth remembering that Neymar, who had a huge impact in Brazil's run to the semifinals in the 2014 edition on home soil, was forced to miss the 7-1 hammering against Germany due to a back injury.
Slated for his first start in three months in the final friendly against Austria on Sunday, Neymar's World Cup dream is back on track again.