Bayern keeper Neuer back fit for Salzburg return leg

Neuer, who had missed the 1-1 first-leg draw in Austria, has been out for a month after having knee surgery in February.

Neuer's services will in high demand on Tuesday with Bayern desperate to remain in the running for European silverware.   -  REUTERS

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been ruled fit to play in Tuesday's Champions League return leg against Salzburg following his recovery from a knee injury, coach Julian Nagelsmann said on Monday.

Neuer, who had missed the 1-1 first-leg draw in Austria, has been out for a month after having knee surgery in February. His services will in high demand on Tuesday with Bayern desperate to remain in the running for European silverware.

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"If there is no reaction to the knee then he will be able to play," Nagelsmann told an online news conference. "We know of his importance as a player and person for Bayern. I am happy that he is back and hopefully (will) play tomorrow."

Bayern is the overwhelming favourite to reach the quarterfinals but are under pressure to advance following its last-gasp equaliser to avoid defeat in the first leg.

A rule change this season means ties that are level after the second leg go to extra time and penalty shootouts irrespective of the number of away goals scored.

Bayern is nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga but it slipped up with a 1-1 home draw against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and is also out of the German Cup.

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"Obviously, we know it's an important game for us," said Nagelsmann, in his first season at Bayern. "If we do not get a positive result it is clear that it won't be a special season.

"But I do not expect that we will be eliminated. I have the justified hope that we will advance and that should be our demand and we have to deliver the performance to match that. We need to keep up the tempo over the entire 90 minutes."

The Bavarians last won the Champions League in 2020 en route to a six-title haul.

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