Soccer-Germany keeper Neuer, Lahm start training


ST MARTIN, Italy, May 29 (Reuters) - Germany keeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm kicked off their belated World Cup preparations on Thursday with light training after missing the start of the camp through injury.

Neuer did not do any goalkeeping training and only some light running as he races to recover from his shoulder injury in time for the tournament start next month.

There was more good news for coach Joachim Loew at their northern Italian training camp with Lahm training in part with the team for the first time on Thursday as he also recovers from a foot injury picked up in the German Cup final two weeks ago.

"At the moment they cannot be fully fit with us but it looks good for both of them," defender Jerome Boateng told reporters. "For Manuel it may take a bit longer but it will all work out."

Neuer has been the undisputed number one for four years and there have been concerns in recent days about whether he will be fully fit for Germany's first match on June 16 against Portugal.

Team officials said midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, also back from injury recently, upped the tempo during training on Thursday as well and looks on track to be fully fit for the tournament start.

Injured left back Marcel Schmelzer was the only absentee.

Germany, drawn in Group G along with Ghana, the United States and Portugal, have had to deal with a string of injuries to key players in recent weeks as they look to end an 18-year wait for an international title in Brazil. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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