Manuel Neuer eyeing comeback as recovery from foot fracture progresses
Neuer was initially ruled out until January after suffering a hairline fracture in his foot for the second time in six months back in September, and with the first month of 2018 drawing to an end, he has now provided an update on his progress as he eyes a comeback in the near future.
“I know things are coming along very well, but of course there’s still time until I’ll be at full strength,” he told Sky Sport Bundesliga. “I can’t say right now exactly how long that’s going to be. I’m currently at around 80 per cent of my body weight at five km/h on the treadmill and that’s going up all the time.
“I expect to be walking at up to 90 per cent without any problems next week, and then be up to 100 per cent the week after, then I’ll slowly start running. My walking profile is pretty good, and I’m not feeling any pain.
“I’m pretty confident I’ll be playing again in the second half of the season.”
The towering goalkeeper has this week taken his rehabilitation work to Thailand, posting on his Instagram page that he will be working in the Asian country for the next week and enjoying some “Vitamin D” in the Thai sun.
During Neuer’s absence, Sven Ulreich has been taking the plaudits and helping sustain Bayern’s charge towards a sixth straight Bundesliga title, and Neuer has sung his understudy’s praises.
“He’s a great goalkeeper and he’s been able to prove that now,” he said. “He’s doing a great job here for Bayern and the team.” As a result, Neuer cannot see why Ulreich may not be joining him in Russia in the summer, as part of the Germany squad. “It can’t be ruled out, and I think it would be great,” he said.
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Ensuring he too is at the World Cup is Neuer’s priority, though.
“It’s a very important tournament for me,” said Neuer, who lifted the trophy in Brazil four years ago. “I think Germany need me and I like being part of the Germany team too. Anybody would like to be involved in a World Cup. I still have aims with Bayern in the second half of the season, and then of course the main objective of [playing with] the national team in the summer.”
Germany’s number one goalkeeper since the end of 2009, the five-time Bundesliga winner and World Cup holder has been restricted to just three Bundesliga outings this season – something he will be looking to add to between now and May as his comeback draws closer.