Bayern Munchen goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is confident that he will be fit in time for the Champions League final, if his side manage to negotiate their way past Real Madrid, the current holders.
Spanish news outlet Marca have reported that the 32-year-old is nearing a return from an injury that his kept him out of action since September.
Neuer has gone through surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process to recover from the problem, and still retains hope of joining up with the German international side for this summer's World Cup.
His replacement Sven Ulreich has put in some impressive performances in recent weeks for the club, and manager Jupp Heynckes recently hailed his performance in the club's 6-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.
Neuer is not expecting to come straight back into the first team and as reported by Marca, spoke about his return in a recent interview: ''[The fact that] we still have chances to win two competitions, the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League, has motivated me a lot during the rehabilitation.''
''This has helped me to have prospects for this season. I cannot come from nowhere and say: I play the final. My performance during training will be decisive.''
It is certainly no formality that Bayern will reach the final of Europe's biggest competition, with them facing a seemingly unstoppable Real Madrid side. They have won the Champions League for two years running and you certainly wouldn't bet against them this year.
Neuer might just be pleased to miss the semi-final because it means he does not have to face Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid's main man is Neuer's nightmare and has scored more goals (9) than anyone else against the German - a remarkable stat when they do not face each other domestically.