Paris: Brazil striker Neymar could return to playing on Sunday when Paris St Germain take on Monaco in Ligue 1, coach Thomas Tuchel said on Saturday.
“He has been working hard, with a good mindset. We could get him back as soon as tomorrow,” Tuchel told a news conference.
Neymar, who has scored 13 goals from 13 league appearances this season, has been out of action since picking up a foot injury in January. PSG will clinch their eighth Ligue 1 title if they beat Monaco at the Parc des Princes.
With Neymar missing from action, PSG were knocked out of the Champions League last 16 after losing the return leg 3-1 at home to Manchester United. They beat the Premier League club 2-0 in the first leg at Old Trafford.
With Edinson Cavani also out injured lately, and several key players unfit, the side have picked up only one point from their last three Ligue 1 games.
They will take on Stade Rennais in the French Cup final next Saturday, a game for which Tuchel is also hoping to be able to bring on captain Thiago Silva who sustained a muscle injury last weekend.
PSG, who have 81 points from 32 games, lead second-placed Lille by 17 points. Lille travel to Toulouse on Sunday.
Tuchel’s team could have become champions in record-equalling time had they beaten Strasbourg on April 7, but Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s unbelievable miss from on the goal line cost them in a 2-2 draw.
Last weekend they lost 5-1 at second-placed Lille, the first time they had conceded five in a league game since 2000, and on Wednesday, with a seriously weakened side, another chance was passed up in a 3-2 loss at Nantes.
Three games, one point and 10 goals conceded. PSG had not suffered back-to-back league defeats since November 2011.
Nevertheless, they are still 17 points ahead of Lille, and will be crowned champions before kick-off against Monaco on Sunday should Lille fail to win at Toulouse.
Otherwise they will need to beat the 2017 champions to secure the title, just as they did a year ago with a 7-1 win over the same opponents.
While Tuchel complains about not having enough players, the good news here is that Angel di Maria and Marquinhos are set to return from injuries, while Juan Bernat and Marco Verratti are available after suspension.
Kylian Mbappe will play against his former team after being rested at Nantes, a decision which Tuchel was later forced to defend: “It is my decision, my management, there is no explanation,” he said.
Despite all their problems, PSG — who will wear a special shirt as a tribute to the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris that suffered terrible damage in a fire on Monday — could therefore secure two trophies in seven days.
Monaco, meanwhile, travel to the Parc des Princes still not quite safe from the threat of relegation after a tumultuous campaign, having ended last weekend seven points clear of the bottom three.
They took 10 points from the first 12 available after Leonardo Jardim returned to replace the sacked Thierry Henry, but have just one win in six since then.