Heynckes says Neuer making good progress, raises WCup hopes

FILE - In this April 15, 2017 file photo Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer reacts to fans after the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in Leverkusen, Germany. Germany captain Manuel Neuer will not return before the end of the Bundesliga, putting his World Cup participation in doubt after missing most of the season through injury. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)

MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes says goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is making good progress and ”has everything that a goalkeeper needs,” raising fans’ hopes that the Germany captain will be able to play at the World Cup.

Neuer hasn’t played since September with a hairline fracture in his left foot after being injured in training and the 32-year-old is running out of time to prove his fitness for this summer’s tournament in Russia.

Heynckes says Neuer ”completed 70 to 80 percent of the team’s training session today. It was very positive. It looked very, very good, very satisfactory.”

The Bayern coach did not rule out Neuer making the squad for the German Cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt on May 19.

Regarding the World Cup, Heynckes says ”he knows my opinion, it stays between us. He has to decide it himself with the doctors. He has to feel good.”

Germany coach Joachim Loew is due to name his preliminary World Cup squad on May 15.

Germany’s first game is against Mexico on June 17 in Moscow.