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Ribéry injured

Van Gaal fears long lay-off for winger

Bayern could be without Franck Ribery for an extended period if the club’s worst fears are realised following a potentially serious injury sustained by the player in Munich’s 2-1 win away to Hoffenheim on Tuesday.

Clearly in some pain and with tears in his eyes, a gesticulating Ribéry was supported from the pitch on 64 minutes by two members of the Bayern coaching staff. The player has only just recovered fitness after a double hernia operation in the summer. “He could be out for a long time. It's possible something’s gone in the ligaments,” FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Tuesday evening.

After 62 minutes of the hard-fought encounter away to Hoffenheim, Ribéry loosed off the shot which directly led to Bayern’s first goal of the game, but sustained the injury in doing so. After the shot, turned into the path of scorer Thomas Müller by home keeper Daniel Haas, Hoffenheim defender Andreas Beck inadvertently caught Ribéry on the ankle while sliding to try and prevent the Frenchman getting his effort away. The winger collapsed to the ground and immediately signalled his discomfort to the bench.

The extent of the injury will not become clear until Wednesday morning, when Ribéry will be examined in Munich. “I think it’s serious,” said Louis van Gaal, “he’ll be looked at tomorrow and we’ll receive a diagnosis after that.”