Bayern Munich captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will make his comeback in Saturday’s home Bundesliga match with Darmstadt, having missed almost a year with a broken leg, coach Thomas Tuchel said on Friday. The 37-year-old, a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, has not played since suffering the injury in a skiing accident last December, days after returning from featuring for his country at the World Cup in Qatar. “As long as nothing happens in training, he will play tomorrow,” Tuchel told reporters at a press conference. “He is delighted, we are delighted, and others will probably be delighted too,” Tuchel said with a smile. Neuer has not played for Bayern since a victory away to his old club Schalke on November 12 last year, just before the World Cup.
The goalkeeper travelled to Qatar as Germany’s captain, but the four-time winners were eliminated in the group stage.
Neuer then broke his leg on a skiing trip after returning to Germany and the injury required surgery in December.
Bayern then recruited Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer from Borussia Moenchengladbach to replace Neuer, but he left for Inter Milan in the close season.
Tuchel said earlier this month that Bayern would not rush their captain’s rehabilitation.
But defender Matthijs de Ligt said on Monday the team was eagerly awaiting Neuer’s return.
He told reporters Bayern were “very happy that Manu will be back soon” while describing him as “a world-class goalkeeper, one of the best in the history of football”.
Neuer, who has made almost 500 appearances for Bayern since signing from Schalke in 2011, has been replaced as Germany skipper during his absence by Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
However, he has signalled his intention to return to the national set-up and his major goal is to stand between the posts at Euro 2024, which Germany will host.
Bayern go into this weekend fresh from a 3-1 win over Galatasaray in Istanbul in the Champions League but lie in third place in the Bundesliga after eight games, two points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen.
Newly-promoted Darmstadt had recorded back-to-back victories before going down 3-1 at home to RB Leipzig in their last outing.
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