Joachim Low expects Manuel Neuer to resume training in February or March and be ready in time to lead Germany at the World Cup.
Neuer has not featured for Bayern Munich or Die Mannschaft since September, the goalkeeper having undergone surgery to correct a broken bone in his left foot.
The 31-year-old remains on crutches as he continues his rehabilitation, but has previously stated he is confident of making it to Russia.
That optimism is shared by national team head coach Low, who believes his number one will be back in action well ahead of the tournament.
"The plan is that he can train sometime in February, March, that he certainly needs more time [to recover]," he told Radio B5.
"He is the best keeper in the world, our captain and we absolutely need him."