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Rehab for Ribery

Priority is to shake off knee injury, star says

Louis van Gaal’s favoured formation features Franck Ribéry on the left and Arjen Robben on the right – but at the moment, the Frenchman and the Dutch ace are confined to the treatment tables at Bayern’s Säbener Strasse headquarters. The Munich club’s star wingers are both out of action due to injury.

Robben underwent surgery around a week ago to treat a painful swelling of the knee, technically known as Plica syndrome, and has just commenced a first round of sports rehab exercise. The 25-year-old is unlikely to return to the training ground for another three to four weeks. In the case of Ribéry, the Frenchman has suffered a reaction to an old injury dating back to the summer, namely an inflammation of the patellar tendon in his left knee.

Ribery managed the first 45 minutes of Bayern’s meeting with Köln last Saturday, but came off at half-time complaining of knee pain. The winger still elected to join up with the France squad as they began preparing for crucial World Cup qualifiers against the Faeroe Islands and Austria, but was back in Munich on Tuesday after withdrawing from the national squad due to the ongoing injury problem.

“I want the swelling to go down completely before I do anything else,” Ribéry commented on Wednesday. He missed the entire pre-season programme with the same problem, only returning to the field of play in mid-August. The superstar will now report for intensive treatment from the FCB medical unit, before starting a rehab programme of his own later in the week.

No date has been set for Ribery to resume the full squad training schedule. The player rates as doubtful for Bayern’s first Bundesliga fixture following the current break for internationals, the away trip to promoted SC Freiburg on 17 October.