The Bundesliga resumes for Bayern Munich after a two-week-long international break. The Bavarian club will travel away to Mainz on Saturday. It will be a significant game for the Bavarian faithful as they may get to see Manuel Neuer making a return to the pitch after ten months.
According to Kicker, Neuer has received the green signal from the medical team to feature against Mainz. The German international has been training with the first-team players during the international break. Thomas Tuchel has to make the final decision on whether to give Neuer a start against Mainz.
Manuel Neuer has been on the sidelines since the start of the year. The German international broke his leg during a freak accident on a ski trip at the end of December. He was ruled out for the second half of the season due to the severity of the injury.
The 37-year-old goalkeeper was expected to be fit by the start of the pre-season. However, Neuer still felt pain in the leg when players returned for pre-season. He had to undergo another surgery to remove metal implants. The German goalkeeper suffered several setbacks, which delayed his return to action.
Neuer has been training on the pitch in the past few weeks, but he started full-fledged training with the first team during the international break. Thomas Tuchel will make a decision on his selection in the starting XI by Saturday after monitoring him in training.
Sven Ulreich has been the number one for Bayern this season in the absence of Neuer. Ulreich did a fine job, but bringing the skipper back into the starting lineup is a no-brainer if the medical team has given the green light. Neuer has been itching to go back on the pitch after such a long injury layoff.
Bayern has missed Neuer on the pitch in the last ten months. The German goalkeeper may not be at his peak, but he is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world. His presence in the goal makes Die Roten a much more confident outfit. Moreover, his ability on the ball makes a huge difference on the pitch when it comes to dominating the opposition.
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It remains to be seen if Neuer returns to his best after a serious injury. The next seven months will give Die Roten a clear picture of Neuer’s fitness and quality on the pitch. The Bavarian club still needs to look for Neuer’s long-term successor. If Neuer makes a successful return, Bayern may get more time to think about their long-term number one.