Boateng starts running work in World Cup fitness race

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Jerome Boateng has started running work as the Germany defender bids to recover from a thigh injury in time for the World Cup.

The Bayern Munich centre-back was forced off after 34 minutes in the first leg of his side's Champions League semi-final defeat to Real Madrid last month.

Reports had indicated Boateng was in danger of missing the World Cup, despite Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes backing the defender to make Joachim Low's squad.

And Boateng posted a positive injury update to social media on Friday, confirming he has returned to training.

Boateng is unlikely to be involved in Bayern's final Bundesliga game of the season, with the champions hosting Stuttgart at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Bayern then wrap up their campaign in the DFB-Pokal final on May 19 against Eintracht Frankfurt, whose coach Niko Kovac will replace Heynckes for next term.