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Ribery set for Bayern return

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, Ligue 1 14 Dec 2009

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Bayern Munich’s France international winger Franck Ribery will make his return next weekend after two-and-a-half months out with injury, his coach Louis van Gaal said on Monday.

“He’s better than ever because he can train without pain,” said the Dutchman, who revealed that Ribery would likely only feature for a few minutes in the home match against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Bayern have overcome a difficult start to the season and currently sit third in the Bundesliga table but they have been without Ribery since October 3 due to tendinitis in his left knee.

“When Ribery plays, the competition in the Bundesliga isn’t as strong. Without him we already won 5-1 at Bochum!” joked Van Gaal in reference to the Bavarian giants’ most recent league game.

Ribery, 26, admitted that his absence from the playing field has been hard to endure.

“Mentally, I’ve had a difficult time,” he told German magazine Sport Bild recently. “Everything annoyed me. I’d had enough of being constantly in pain, when I was driving or even when I was just sitting down.”

Ribery’s return will be a short-lived affair regardless of how he fares on the pitch, because the German championship shuts down for the winter break after the next round of matches and does not resume until January 15.

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