Germany 'keeper Neuer makes first start for eight months

After eight months sidelined by a fractured foot, Manuel Neuer made his return from injury on Saturday when Germany took on Austria in a rain-hit World Cup warm-up match.

Heavy rain in Klagenfurt meant kick-off had to be pushed back from the original 1800 (1600 GMT) start and the game finally got underway at 1940 local time.

Two weeks before Germany begin their World Cup campaign in Russia, Germany head coach Joachim Loew has named the Bayern goalkeeper in the starting side -- 259 days after his last match for his club.

Loew has to cut his 27-man squad to 23 by Monday and the match against Austria is Neuer's only chance to prove his fitness before the World Cup finals.

Neuer has not played since fracturing a metatarsal in his left foot last September in a recurrence of the same injury he suffered earlier in 2017.

He last played for the national team in October 2016.

If he is selected for the final World Cup squad, Neuer will have the opportunity to play a last friendly match on June 8 in Leverkusen against Saudi Arabia.

Germany kick off their title defence on June 17 in Moscow against Mexico. They also face Sweden and South Korea in Group F.

Meanwhile, Freiburg striker Nils Petersen, the surprise inclusion in Loew's 27-man group, will make his international debut against Austria.

Senior players Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos are rested.

Team line-ups:

Austria:

Joerg Siebenhandl - Stefan Lainer, Sebastian Proedl, Aleksandar Dragovic, Martin Hinteregger - Peter Zulj, Julian Baumgartlinger, Florian Grillitsch - Alessandro Schoepf, David Alaba - Marko Arnautovic

Germany:

Manuel Neuer - Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Suele, Antonio Ruediger, Jonas Hector - Sami Khedira, Ilkay Gundogan - Julian Brandt, Mesut Ozil, Leroy Sane - Nils Petersen