Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer won't be rushed back - Jupp Heynckes
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will only return to action when he is 100 percent healthy, says manager Jupp Heynckes.
Neuer, 31, is recovering from a hairline fracture in his left foot suffered in training back in September, and is on track with his rehabilitation schedule.
However, Heynckes, who was speaking at a news conference ahead of Bayern's Champions League group stage match with Anderlecht on Wednesday, declared he would not rush the German international back into action.
"I think he is on schedule," he said on Tuesday. "But I've always protected my players. With me, no player starts again until he has recovered completely. That's why there's no pressure from my side at all."
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge gave a more detailed update on Neuer's recovery, telling reporters: "He'll soon be able to put down the crutches.
"There's no reason to be pessimistic. Everything is as the doctors said it would be. It's all going to plan."
Neuer's backup, Sven Ulreich, came in for criticism after shaky early displays this season, but has since put in more assured performances for the Bundesliga leaders.
And he says he's been caught off guard by the sudden praise from Bayern supporters and former players.
"Everything goes so quickly in football. A few weeks ago, Lothar Matthaus said I have a problem with my eyes and now he praises me," said Ulreich.
"I don't give much thought to it. I just concentrate on the next matches.
"The coach has put a lot of focus on the defence. The aim is always to keep a clean sheet. We are defending compact again and working together as a team at the back."
Bayern need a win against Anderlecht to keep alive their chances of topping PSG in their Champions League group. And though they will feature a rotated squad, Heynckes said no excuses will be accepted on Wednesday.
."You can never make the mistake of underestimating an opponent, especially in the Champions League," he said. "I saw Anderlecht's match against Club Brugge, which impressed me.
"They are combative and they run well and have strengthened their defence. It won't be a walk in the park.
"Jerome Boateng is back and will start. [Sebastian] Rudy and [Corentin] Tolisso have hardly played from the start; there's a very realistic chance they will start. That's not a risk for me.
"[Kingsley] Coman only started gym work recently. He's trying today but I can't say he'll be fit to play."
Rummenigge seemed to play down their chances of overtaking the Parisians atop in the group.
"We're not expecting PSG to drop points. They've won everything up till now and haven't even conceded a goal," he said. The team seems very stable.
"We would have to beat them 4-0 to finish top. Obviously we want to win, but I'm not optimistic that it will be 4-0. We're concentrating on ourselves and want to keep playing well."
Captain Arjen Robben was solely focused on the game at hand.
"When we play, we play to win. That won't be any different tomorrow. We need to concentrate and push forward from the first minute to get a good result," he said.
Mark Lovell contributed to this report.
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