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Ruptured ankle ligaments

Op and eight-week lay-off for Ribéry

The injury sustained by Franck Ribéry in Tuesday evening’s Euro 2008 group fixture between France and Italy is a so-called high ankle sprain, a rupture of the syndesmosis ligament that connects the fibula to the tibia, Bayern and Germany chief medical officer Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt announced after examining the 25-year-old winger at the Germany team base in Basel.

Ribéry will now undergo surgery on Thursday in Munich to repair the damage, and will be out of action for the next seven to eight weeks. The midfielder will almost certainly play no part in the DFB German Cup first round on the second weekend in August, and is already doubtful for the first Bundesliga matchday a week later.

Rummenigge expresses relief

Relief was the main emotion in the Bayern camp after the diagnosis was announced. “We’re very sorry about Franck’s injury, but we’re delighted the initial, much more serious diagnosis turned out not to be the case,“ commented chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Reports from pitchside immediately after the incident suggested Ribéry might have fractured one of the lower leg bones.

The exact state of the injury remained unclear for much of Wednesday. France coach Raymond Domenech told a midday news conference that the damage was restricted to a badly sprained ankle, although he also pointed out that a final diagnosis had not yet been issued at the time.

Early exit at Italian hands

Ribery sustained the injury after just eight minutes of the Group C encounter between the French and the Italians. The Bayern star fell awkwardly after challenging Gianluca Zambrotta for possession and twisted his left knee in the process. Pain clearly etched on his face, the prostrate player was stretchered from the field and taken to hospital in Zurich.

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