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Lay-off for Mehdi

Benatia sidelined, Ribéry making progress

An injury to Mehdi Benatia was the only bad news coming out of Bayern’s thrilling penalty shootout victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB Cup last Wednesday. FCB chief medical officer Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt has now examined the Morocco defender and has diagnosed a torn muscle at the back of the right thigh. Benatia was substituted just 34 minutes into the midweek clash at the BayArena and will be sidelined for a number of weeks.

The latest blow deepens the injury problems at the club with the climax of the season fast approaching. FCB were already without Arjen Robben (torn stomach muscle), David Alaba, Tom Starke (both ligaments), Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribéry (both ankle) in Leverkusen. None of the players on the injury roster will be fit in time for the Reds’ home meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

On a positive note, Ribéry is now making good progress as he works towards a comeback. The Frenchman has been out since the Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Shakhtar Donetsk but joined sports rehab coach Thomas Wilhelmi for a gruelling session of running and sprinting on Thursday and Friday. “He’s getting better, but I don’t know if he’ll be fit in time to face Porto,” commented Pep Guardiola.