Bild has confirmed that Bayern Munich superstar Franck Ribery is due to return to action ahead of the Champions League last 16 second leg against Arsenal next month.
News broke recently that the Frenchman was suffering with a bizarre problem; a burst blood vessel in his buttock which required surgery.
The setback means he won’t feature against the Gunners next week but the German newspaper has revealed that Bayern are aiming for him to be back in first team action by the time the side plays Wolfsburg on March 8, three days before the second leg against Arsenal.
That could be the ideal match for Pep Guardiola to get Ribery some game time, which will improve his match fitness and sharpness ahead of the Arsenal game.
“It will take a week or two longer than expected. In this case the European footballer of the year would return against Wolfsburg and for the second leg against Arsenal,” reads the report on Bild’s website.
The problem for Arsenal isn’t simply confined to the fact they will have to face up against Ribery next month.
Arsene Wenger will have to prepare his side, not fully knowing if Ribery is going to start that second leg or whether Guardiola will take the safe option of sticking him on the bench and nursing him back to full health.
A lot will depend on the result after the first leg next week. If Bayern are chasing the game then they are more likely to risk him but if they have a lead which they can protect, they don’t need to throw him back into the side as urgently.
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