MANUEL NEUER celebrated his 32nd birthday in the best way possible by returning to training following serious injury.
Bayern Munich uploaded a video of the club legend training with rehab coach Thomas Wilhelmi onto their Twitter account.
They wrote: “Happy birthday to our #1 and only Manuel Neuer. Our captain is back on the training
Neuer has not played since September when he fractured a metatarsal in his left foot.
He was expected to return in January but the rehabilitation program is proving longer than expected – no doubt to minimize the risk of another relapse.
Another setback could have far-reaching consequences.
The commanding number one said: “It’s really important nothing else happens to the foot now – because then it could really be about the career.
Neuer celebrates his 32nd birthday on the day when Germany host Brazil in a friendly.
But he has said he is focusing on returning for club, not country, first.
He added: “My target is not to return to the national team without having played a game.”
Despite being considered the world’s best goalkeeper, Neuer would be a gamble for Joachim Loew, but the Germany coach has indicated he is prepared to take the risk.
Loew said: “The doctors have reaffirmed that the condition of the scar and bone fusion is absolutely fine.
“I assume and am very optimistic that Manuel will be at the World Cup.”
Marc-Andre ter Stegen has overcome a shaky start to his Germany career to establish himself as the No 1 in Neuer’s absence.
The former Borussia Moenchengladbach goalkeeper is thriving at Barcelona and showed his quality in helping Germany win the Confederations Cup last year.