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Ribery a week away from return – Ancelotti

Franck Ribery is nearing a return to action for Bayern Munich but Saturday’s visit of Hoffenheim will come too soon for the Frenchman.

The 33-year-old last played on September 28 in Bayern’s Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid and had been in good form beforehand.

But the talented winger suffered a muscle injury in training to disrupt his encouraging run of games following an injury-blighted campaign last year.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that he is back in training, but Ribery will probably not return to first-team action for another week, while Holger Badstuber is also closing in on a return.

“Ribery has trained with us this week,” Ancelotti told reporters. “I think for the next game he will be available again. Everyone else is fit beside him and Javi Martinez [and Badstuber]. 

“Badstuber isn’t ready to start tomorrow. He might play with the reserves next week to help him progress further.”

The contest with Hoffenheim sees Bayern face one of the big surprises of the 2016-17 Bundesliga campaign having risen to third with 19 points from nine matches, none of which have ended in defeat.

Julian Nagelsmann has attracted particular praise for his impact since taking over responsibility for the first team in February, and the 29-year-old – the Bundesliga’s youngest-ever coach – has been tipped for the top by Ancelotti. 

“Tomorrow is a very important game – it’s a top match,” he added.

“They’re well organised and play with a high tempo and a lot of intensity. They have confidence too.

“Julian has done well there last year and this year. I hope he can coach the best team in the world in the future. Maybe he will in ten or fifteen years.”

Fri 4 Nov, 2016
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