Manuel Neuer is in race against time to be fully fit for the upcoming World Cup in Russia. The 31-year-old goalkeeper fractured his foot last September, which was his third injury in 2017, so he needed surgery, but he was confident that nothing would stand in his way of his World Cup participation. With less than three months to go and with less than two months until Loew announces his final squad on May 15, the fans are starting to wonder whether Germany’s No. 1 will wear the captain’s armband in Russia this summer. The first predictions after the surgery were that Bayern’s goalie would be back on the pitch in January, but, as we can see for ourselves, the former Schalke keeper has yet to recover.
According to Jupp Heynckes, Manuel Neuer is looking good and could return from his injury nightmare in April, just in time to lead his national team in the battle for a second successive World Cup title. When asked if he believed whether the 31-year-old would be fully fit any time soon, Heynckes responded that the prospects were positive. After his 10-day trip to Thailand, which was a part of his rehabilitation process, Neuer is back at Bayern’s training ground, racing to get back to full fitness just in time for the final announcement. If the April return really occurs, he could have several games to play in the remainder of the season, which could get him in the proper form for Russia. Even so, both Bayern and Germany officials are not willing to risk his return too early.
Neuer was a hero for Germany in 2014 and Loew is also confident that Germany’s captain will be back just in time to be a hero of the nation once again. Loew stated that Neuer was on schedule, and that everything was going according to plan, that he was in constant contact with Andi Koepke, Germany’s goalkeeper coach, who had said that Neuer’s leg hadn’t been causing him any problems anymore.
Germany start the World Cup title defence against Mexico in Moscow and we will see whether the highly rated shot-stopper will wear the number 1 shirt on June 17.
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