After sustaining a calf injury during Bayern Munich’s 4-1 win at Fortuna Dusseldorf last month, Manuel Neuer was initially targeting a return in this past weekend’s match against RB Leipzig. Now, though, the keeper is unsure whether he will feature for Bayern again before the season concludes at the end of the month with the DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig in Berlin.
Neuer recently received the Bavarian state medal for all of the work he’s done with his children’s charity. After the ceremony, the keeper updated reporters on his injury return (via AZ). Neuer said he was “confident that the champion will be FC Bayern,” but he was less confident whether he will return to the pitch to help make it happen:
I can’t say yet today whether I’ll be able to jump in again. At any rate I’m working hard and have to see how things look day to day. I still have my sights set on the Frankfurt game.
Neuer declined to go into detail about his latest injury. He has not yet resumed full team training since sustaining his injury, but has been seen training individually on the pitch and in the gym at Säbener Strasse. Neuer has missed Bayern’s last 5 games, a period in which Sven Ulreich has stood in, conceding 4 goals.
At this point, it seems as if playing Neuer against Frankfurt would be a calculated risk from Kovac. History has shown that rushing Neuer back prematurely can be costly, and that’s the last thing Bayern wants ahead of the DFB-Pokal final. When Bayern lifted the Meisterschale last season, Neuer had missed almost the entire season due to his metatarsal fracture(s). No one wants him to be forced to watch his side clinch the title from the stands.