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Surgery in Munich

Successful operation restores Ribéry’s smile

Two days after sustaining a high ankle sprain in France’s Euro 2008 meeting with Italy, the smile has been restored to Franck Ribéry’s face. The French international, substituted after just nine minutes of Tuesday’s match with a rupture of the syndesmosis ligament that connects the fibula to the tibia, underwent successful surgery to repair the damage in Munich on Thursday.

According to Dr. Ludwig Seebauer, consultant surgeon at Bogenhausen hospital, the operation “went perfectly,” reported Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Ribéry will remain in hospital for a few days before taking his official vacation. All Bayern players involved at Euro 2008 receive a three-week break from the day their team is eliminated from the tournament.

Vacation followed by recuperation

Ribéry sustained the injury after falling unluckily in a challenge with Gianluca Zambrotta. Writhing in pain, he was stretchered from the field and transported to a Zurich hospital, where initial fears of a lower leg fracture fortunately proved unfounded.

A precise diagnosis followed on Wednesday after the player was taken to see Bayern and Germany chief medical officer Dr Müller-Wohlfahrt in Basel. Following his vacation, Ribéry will commence a programme of recuperation and rehabilitation at Bayern’s new Säbener Strasse performance centre. Should everything go according to plan, the French player of the year could yet be fit in time for the Bundesliga restart on 15 August.