The matchday eight of the Bundesliga was set to mark the return of Manuel Neuer for Bayern Munich. The German international has been out for ten months due to a leg injury that he suffered during a freak accident on a ski trip. Neuer got the green light from the medical team for a return, but Bayern and Thomas Tuchel are being cautious about his return.
While talking to the media on Friday, Tuchel confirmed that Sven Ulreich will be starting against Mainz on Saturday. Ulreich is also expected to play against Galatasaray in the mid-week Champions League game, so Manuel Neuer will most likely return to the starting lineup against Darmstadt on matchday nine of the Bundesliga.
Tuchel is delighted with Neuer’s return, but he believes that more training sessions will help the experienced goalkeeper to get in the rhythm before starting a game. He also confirmed that Neuer has mutually agreed with this decision.
Manuel Neuer has endured several setbacks in the recovery process of this particular injury. He was previously expected to return at the start of the pre-season tour. However, one more surgery and a few minor setbacks made sure that Neuer missed the first quarter of the season. He is determined to help the team, so getting back in the best possible rhythm is necessary. Considering how long he had to wait, Neuer will not be fussed about a delay of one more week.
Meanwhile, Matthijs de Ligt is set to return to the starting lineup against Mainz. The Dutch defender has been struggling with a knee injury since the 7-0 win against VfL Bochum. De Ligt completed the recovery and started training with the first team during the international break.
The return of De Ligt is a relief for Tuchel since Dayot Upamecano has been ruled out for a few weeks due to an injury. The French defender was spotted running on the grass at Sabner Strasse this week, but he will need at least two more weeks before joining the first-team training.
Want your voice heard? Join the Bayern Strikes team!
Tuchel has also ruled out Raphael Guerreiro, Serge Gnabry, and Noussair Mazraoui for the game against Mainz. Guerreiro still needs a few more days to recover from a thigh strain that he suffered in training before the international break. Gnabry has been training with the squad in the past few days after recovering from a forearm injury, but the game against Mainz comes too soon for him. Mazraoui picked up a minor injury during the international break.
Joshua Kimmich is expected to start for Bayern on Saturday after missing the two games for Germany due to illness. Leon Goretzka is a doubt for the game against Mainz, but a final decision on him is expected to be taken on Saturday.