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Neymar says back injury is improving during promotional trip to Japan

  • Japan Soccer Neymar-1.jpg

    Brazil's soccer player Neymar waves for the media during a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi) (The Associated Press)

  • Japan Soccer Neymar-2.jpg

    Brazilian soccer player Neymar greets his fans upon arrival at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Neymar is in Tokyo for several promotional events. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) (The Associated Press)

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    Fans try to see Brazilian Soccer player Neymar at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Neymar is in Tokyo for several promotional events. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) (The Associated Press)

Brazil and Barcelona striker Neymar says he is almost back to full fitness after the serious back injury he sustained at the World Cup.

The 22-year-old Neymar is on promotional trip to Tokyo, where he will film a commercial for a Japanese mattress company. About 700 fans greeted him at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Thursday.

"It's all good. My back is improving. It's almost 100 percent," Neymar said. "I'm looking forward to joining my (Barcelona) teammates and helping them win the title."

Neymar's first World Cup ended in disappointment when he was carried off the field on a stretcher with a fractured vertebra during Brazil's quarterfinal win over Colombia.

Before his injury, Neymar had scored four goals in five games and was considered one of the standout players of the tournament. Half of Brazil's goals until then were scored by him.

Barcelona's season starts on Aug. 24. The club has said Neymar's recovery was progressing "very well."

Neymar has a busy schedule in Japan. In addition to shooting a commercial, he made several TV appearances and fielded questions about technique from young Japanese players.

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