Neuer backed for World Cup role despite Bayern absence

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Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes believes goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has a good chance of recovering in time for the World Cup.

Manuel Neuer has not played since September but Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes believes the goalkeeper can be ready to go to the World Cup with Germany.

Neuer is still recovering from a foot injury that has left him unable to add to the three Bundesliga appearances he recorded at the start of the season.

Deputy Sven Ulreich has excelled in Neuer's absence, barring a costly error against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, with other options available to Germany coach Joachim Low including Barcelona number one Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Neuer was in goal as Germany won the last World Cup in Brazil four years ago and Heynckes believes the 32-year-old can return to keep his place for Russia 2018.

"Kingsley Coman is making huge progress," Heynckes said at a news conference ahead of his final Bundesliga game in charge, against Stuttgart on Saturday.

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"Things are also looking good for Manuel Neuer. He was in goal during attacking drills yesterday and is doing everything in training that a modern goalkeeper needs to be able to do.

"I'm very optimistic that Manuel Neuer will make Germany's training camp. We'll know next week whether or not he will be in the squad for Berlin. But, from what I've seen today, I'm confident he will be an option."

Should Neuer be unavailable, Low could also turn to Bayer Leverkusen's Bernd Leno, Timo Horn of Cologne or Kevin Trapp, although the latter goalkeeper has lost his place at Paris Saint-Germain.

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