Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has just one wish for 2016: to stay clear of the injuries that have restricted him to two appearances so far this season.
The former Marseille man returned from a nine-month injury lay-off caused by an ankle problem in December but, after scoring as a substitute in defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach, he lasted just 45 minutes of the Champions League win against Dinamo Zagreb.
It was subsequently announced that he had suffered an unspecified muscle injury meaning he would miss the remainder of 2015.
Although Bayern’s strength in depth means they have continued to lead the way in the Bundesliga – they hold an eight-point advantage at the midway point – Ribery himself is itching to get back to full fitness to aid the club’s challenge domestically and in Europe.
Asked for his new year’s wish by the club’s official website, he said: “That I am fit again as soon as possible. I am really motivated [to return].
“The two or three weeks in which I was fit [in December] were lovely and it’s where I belong.
“I hope all the injured players are fit again soon. We want to fight together for many titles.”
Ribery insisted he never feared for his career but conceded he may have returned too soon prior to the winter break.
“My head was ready but the muscle was still weak,” he added.
“It’s important that my ankle no longer causes me any problems. Now it’s just a muscle injury. I need rhythm and matches.”
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