Neuer close to Bayern return

05 February 2019 11:38:48 EST

Bayern Munich could be set for an injury boost with the news that Manuel Neuer has returned to training.

The goalkeeper missed last weekend's 3-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen due to a thumb injury, with Sven Ulreich taking the gloves for the game at the BayArena.

Ulreich deputised for most of last season as Neuer battled an ankle problem and gave a somewhat downbeat assessment of his team-mate's recovery when quizzed after Saturday's match.

That prompted further doubts that the 32-year-old would miss the upcoming Champions League games against Liverpool but boss Nico Kovac suggested on Tuesday that the captain was back in training.

Wednesday sees Bayern face Hertha Berlin in the DFB-Pokal and Kovac says Neuer is keen to return in time to lead the team out at the Olympiastadion.

However, the boss has confirmed he will wait to speak to the medical staff before making a call on the World Cup winner's participation. 

"Manuel is so far, so good," he said. "I think he wants to play immediately but we need the all-clear from the doctors, which we haven't had yet.

"We can't say anything concrete regarding tomorrow -- we have to wait until after training."

Bayern are 4/11 to win in Berlin, with the draw 17/4 and Hertha 13/2 but Kovac may want to hold his number one back for longer to ensure he is fit for the Bundesliga run-in and the Champions League knockout rounds.

The Bavarians currently trail Borussia Dortmund by seven points following Saturday's defeat and are 1/40 to retain their league title.

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