EPPAN, Italy (Reuters) - Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is on track to regain full fitness in time for next month’s World Cup after recovering from a foot injury that has sidelined him for most of the season, national team coach Joachim Loew said on Thursday.
Speaking at the start of a training camp in northern Italy ahead of the tournament, Loew sounded confident that the 32-year-old Germany captain, part of his 2014 World Cup-winning team, would play in Russia.
Bayern Munich keeper Neuer has not played since breaking a bone in his foot back in September that required surgery, putting his chances of making the finals in doubt.
“He trained a week at Bayern, here he is training fully and can also deal with the intensity level,” Loew told reporters.
“We will see from day-to-day. If he has the feeling that he is at 100 percent then he can be there in Russia. Should there be any problems we would need to discuss it. But as things stand now he has no problems whatsoever and things look good.”
Loew is also expecting to have Jerome Boateng back in the squad later this week as the central defender has recovered from a groin injury suffered last month.
“Everything is going according to plan and by next week I expect him to be taking part in training,” said the 58-year-old coach, who this month extended his contract to 2022.
The Germans are preparing for the fourth time in Eppan, high in the Italian Alps, with Loew praising the conditions for his players as they get ready for their title defense.
“We have the best conditions here, proximity to the pitch, a good hotel, the pitch is in a very good state, short travel times, so everything to have a good preparation.”
Germany will remain in Italy until June 5, a day after the deadline for the final squad announcement. Loew has taken 27 players to the training camp with four facing the cut.
The Germans, who will travel to play a warm-up match away to Austria in Klagenfurt on June 2 before returning to Italy and then going home to face Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen six days later, are in Group F with Sweden, South Korea and Mexico.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris