Neymar was ruled out of the tournament last Friday when he was hit in the lower back during an aerial challenge with Colombia defender Juan Zuniga.
Scans revealed Neymar had fractured a vertebra following the collision, but the player initially believed the injury was much more serious, according to Luiz Felipe Scolari.
“Marcelo ran up to Neymar (directly after the challenge) and asked him how he was feeling and he told him: ’I can’t feel my legs,” the Brazil coach said.
Luckily for Neymar, he will not suffer any such long-term effects.
“He does not have any neurological injury that would compromise his life as an athlete or a human being,” Brazil’s team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said.
“He will be out for 40-45 days.”
The Brazil squad will fly to Belo Horizonte today for the final stage of their semi-final preparation.
Scolari will have to find a replacement for Thiago Silva, who is unlikely to win an appeal against his second booking of the tournament against Colombia.
But the biggest task on his hands is filling the gap left by Neymar, who was Brazil’s top scorer at the World Cup with four goals.
“It’s equivalent to a catastrophe,” the Brazil coach said of losing his star man.