Manuel Neuer expected to miss Germany's World Cup defence
Last Updated: 09/05/18 12:30pm
Manuel Neuer's participation at the World Cup is in major doubt after Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes said he is unlikely to play again this season.
Germany's No 1 Neuer has not played since September after suffering a recurrence of a metatarsal fracture.
He has been back in training with Bayern, but Heynckes has told kicker that he won't play in the final Bundesliga game of the season on Saturday against Stuttgart - although he left the door open for Neuer to play some part in the German Cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt on May 19.
Neuer said this week: "I cannot say at the moment whether I will make the World Cup. I don't think it is conceivable that I can go into the World Cup without any match practice.
"It's going well and I'm feeling good, but I have to make the right decision for me, the team and Germany.
"I want to get better each day and try to get fit as quickly as possible. We'll see if it's enough, but I can't say for certain."
Nations must submit their final 23-man squads for the World Cup by June 4 and if Neuer is not fit then Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen is likely to take his place.
Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff still thinks Neuer will be involved in Russia.
"I'm still confident and convinced that Manuel will be at the World Cup," he said.
"In Manuel's case we're taking it day by day. For him - as is the case with other injured players - it's important that they find their rhythm and concentrate in peace so that they return to fitness. The real deadline is June 4, when we have to nominate the final 23-man squad."