Germany’s captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is “on schedule” to be fit for the World Cup in June, according to Germany’s head coach Joachim Loew. Last September, Neuer, 31, fractured his left foot for the third time in 2017, but is now off crutches and working his way back to fitness.

His club Bayern Munich has given no date as to when Neuer will return to action, but Loew says everything is going to plan. “He’s on schedule,” said Loew on Wednesday. “I always have contact with Manuel Neuer and also (Germany’s goalkeeper coach) Andi Koepke. We have always been informed by him, we have confidence in him, he is so strong and his foot is causing us no problems at the moment.”

Germany play key friendlies at home against Spain and Brazil in March to prepare for the World Cup in Russia. Neuer, who has made 74 appearances for Germany, says his aim is to stay pain free and get back to playing as soon as possible.

“I have not had any pain since the injury, you try to do as much as possible, but there is a fine line,” Neuer told BayernTV on Sunday. “I hope that I’ll be spared any more (pain) so everything can keep improving the way it has until now.”

Germany open the defend of the World Cup against Mexico in Moscow on June 17 and also face Sweden and South Korea in Group F.