Germany's Loew 'not losing sleep' over Neuer injury

BERLIN: Germany coach Joachim Loew insisted Thursday he is not losing sleep as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer struggles to recover from a fractured foot, with just seven months to go before the World Cup.

"I haven't been in contact with him for the last two weeks, but from what I do know, it doesn't worry me and it doesn't disturb my sleep," Loew said at a press conference in Berlin.

"I know he needs a few weeks, it's planned that he will return to training next year and he has a bit of time to regain his form."

German daily Bild reported late Wednesday that Neuer is set for five more weeks on crutches after fracturing his left foot in September.

Last month, Germany captain Neuer, twice the German Footballer of the Year, admitted he could be sidelined until March 2018.

Neuer's media consultant Bernhard Schmittenbecher told magazine Kicker on Thursday that "Manuel continues to assume that he can return to training in the winter break".

The Bayern Munich shot-stopper suffered his injury just weeks after returning to action after fracturing the same foot in April during his club's Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.

Neuer took over the captaincy of Germany last year when Bastian Schweinsteiger retired from international duty and will miss Friday's friendly against England at Wembley.

However, Loew said he was undisturbed by what he read in the newspapers about the 31-year-old Neuer being fit for Germany's defence of the World Cup in Russia, which kicks off on June 14 next year in Moscow.

"I am not worried about what I read," said Loew.

"I know what the World Cup means for him and from our doctors that the time frame is not a problem, so I am relaxed." — AFP