Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been sidelined with a foot fracture since September, but an end to his injury woes appear to be in sight. Friday was an "emotional day" for the 31-year-old as he stepped up his recovery, and he told FCB.tv how he is progressing.
Friday was an "emotional day" for the 31-year-old who, after stepping up his recovery, updated FCB.tv on how he is progressing.
bundesliga.com summarises the salient points as Neuer sets his sights on a comeback before the end of the season…
Manuel Neuer on…
…his current progress:
"I've got to say things are going well. Today was an emotional day because I was able to put full weight on my foot for three five-minute bursts, and there was no reaction from the foot. Both feet felt the same, so it was an important step for me. In my head, it's not an issue for me. I'm doing many exercises that are pushing me to my limit, but I have a fresh mind every day and don't have the pressure of playing in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup every week – I just come to the Säbener [Straße training centre] and put in my six hours or so, then I go for therapy and speak with the physios about my body. Then we have these exercises which push me to my limit."
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…his expected return to full training:
"It is within sight – now I've started running, and it went well, that's an important step with no swelling or weakness in the muscles, then I'll do a MRT [scan] tomorrow and we'll see the images and will check closely how it is and if there are any risks. If everything's fine, I expect to be able to train out on the field again – back out in the fresh air!"
…his expected return to action:
"It's still not certain when I will be back. I've taken some steps and when I get my football boots back on, then we'll see how my body and foot responds. I hope I still get to play some games for Bayern this season – and that is realistic – but I'm not making any predictions. I'm glad that things are going well, but it's very hard to name a date [for my comeback]. My aim is to play a few games again for Bayern, but the important thing is nobody is putting me under any pressure. They're giving me all the time in the world, albeit hoping to see me back on the field again soon. Getting back into the national team with a few games under my belt is my objective."
…coping with life on the sidelines:
"Of course you get impatient: I'm a sportsman and ambitious and it hurts to see the others playing. It's nice to see things from a different perspective, with things going so well on the field, but I'm a protagonist and I love this game, which is why I'd rather be out there in goal."
…a recent trip to Thailand:
"First and foremost it was indeed a holiday. But you have to know sunshine is an important factor in bone healing, it's hard to get vitamin D in the winter, so it had an impact, and it was an incentive for me. I also pursued a training plan on a daily basis. The change of surroundings was great fun too. And it was good to go outside because I spent the winter break working here, I didn't have any time off. The physios and fitness coaches were here to work with me on New Year's Eve and during the Doha training camp. I'd always worked out ever since my last injury back in September, and then the club said: it's time for you to take off. The timing was perfect, it was great fun, but I was still glad when I returned for work."
…the performances of Sven Ulreich:
"Sven's development is incredible. It wasn't perfect at the beginning, it was a difficult time, partly due to the change of coach too. I think he's improved through the goalkeeper training with Toni Topalovic, he's said so repeatedly. It's outstanding. It was difficult for me to watch them at the beginning, when things didn't go so well for FC Bayern. But when Sven started turning in strong displays it was easier for me to let go. I saw it was working, his performances have been superb. I'm proud of Sven for the way he's come on."
…Bayern's prospects this season:
"Basically everything's possible. We've seen great performances, although the last match was a little warning, also because people are comparing Leipzig to Sevilla. But I think we know we're strong, that we have a large squad, that everything's possible and that our goals are ambitious but realistic. We don't have to talk about the league, we’d rather focus on the cup competitions."