Germany goalkeeper Neuer set for return ahead of World Cup

MUNICH (AP) — With the World Cup only weeks away, Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is set to return to action with Bayern Munich for the first time in nearly a month following a shoulder problem.

Neuer has not played since a 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Oct. 8 but Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said Friday the keeper will play against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday as long as there are no setbacks in the last training session ahead of the game.

“We waited for as long as needed for him to be pain-free again. There's always a certain risk but he and the doctors have given the green light,” Nagelsmann said. “Something can always happen. Soccer is a contact sport.”

Neuer revealed Wednesday he was previously treated for skin cancer and had to undergo surgery.

Nagelsmann added that Germany forward Leroy Sané and France defender Lucas Hernández will also return to the squad after recent injury absences but will only be involved off the bench. Sané had a thigh strain in the 5-0 win over Freiburg on Oct. 16 and Hernández has not played since tearing the adductor muscle in his left thigh against Barcelona in September.

Two other Bayern players with World Cup ambitions remain out of the squad. Nagelsmann said Germany forward Thomas Müller is in line to return next week after various minor injuries and illnesses which have restricted him to only brief appearances over the last month, while Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt missed training with a knee issue.

Germany coach Hansi Flick is scheduled to announce his squad Thursday. Germany's opening World Cup game is set for Nov. 23 against Japan.

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The Associated Press