Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has revealed he expects to be back in action before the end of the Bundesliga season, after fracturing his foot back in September.
The German keeper suffered the injury for the second time in six months, with the original diagnosis ruling the keeper out until the end of January.
That initial deadline has now passed, with Neuer revealing in an interview that he is approaching the end of his recovery programme.
"I know things are coming along very well, but of course there's still time until I'll be at full strength," he told FC Bayern TV. "I can't say right now exactly how long that's going to be. I'm currently at around 80 per cent of my body weight at five km/h on the treadmill and that's going up all the time.
"I expect to be walking at up to 90 per cent without any problems next week, and then be up to 100 per cent the week after, then I'll slowly start running. My walking profile is pretty good, and I'm not feeling any pain.
The 31-year old has stepped up his recovery this week with a trip to Thailand, sharing a post on his Instagram page standing in front of an idyllic palm tree setting.
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The German stopper went on to reserve special praise for understudy Sven Ullrich during his interview, who has deputised in goal during his absence.
"He's a great goalkeeper and he's been able to prove that now. He's doing a great job here for Bayern and the team." When asked whether Ullrich's performances could result in a call-up to the World Cup squad, Neuer said; "It can't be ruled out, and I think it would be great."
Neuer has won five consecutive Bundesliga titles at the Bavarian giants, also winning the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup titles at the Allianz Arena.