Germany captain Neuer running out of time for World Cup

FILE - In this April 15, 2017 file photo Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer reacts to fans after the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in Leverkusen, Germany. Germany captain Manuel Neuer will not return before the end of the Bundesliga, putting his World Cup participation in doubt after missing most of the season through injury. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)

MUNICH — Germany captain Manuel Neuer will not play in Bayern Munich's final Bundesliga game, putting his World Cup participation in doubt after the goalkeeper missed most of the season with a hairline fracture in his left foot.

Neuer, who hasn't played since September after being injured in training, is running out of time to prove his fitness for this summer's tournament in Russia.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said Wednesday that Neuer will not be included in the squad for the final league game against Stuttgart.

Media reports suggested Heynckes said Neuer wouldn't play at all for Bayern this season, but the club issued a statement which quoted the coach as saying, "I didn't say that. The fact is Manuel is not yet in the squad for the last home game against Stuttgart on Saturday. For the cup final, however, the decision is still open."

Bayern plays Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup final on May 19.

The 32-year-old Neuer was initially due to return in January but his rehabilitation is taking longer than expected due to the risk of a relapse. A repeat of the injury could threaten his career.

Germany coach Joachim Loew is due to name his World Cup squad on May 15 with the biggest question centering on Neuer's likely inclusion.

Neuer has said, "I don't think it's imaginable without any match practice."

Germany's first game is against Mexico on June 17 in Moscow.

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