BERLIN, September 22 – France midfielder Franck Ribery is expected to be out for at least four weeks with an ankle injury and to miss Bayern Munich's next two Champions League games, it was revealed on Wednesday.The winger had to be helped off after an hour of his side’s 2-1 win over Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Tuesday after falling awkwardly and an MRI scan in Munich on Wednesday revealed he has torn ligaments in his right ankle.
Ribery, who missed five months of football last season with a knee injury, will miss Bayern’s Champions League games at Basel next Tuesday and home to Romania’s FC Cluj in Group E.
"I had feared worse," said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal after hearing the news.
"Our misfortune is a blessing in disguise. Now we can look to getting Franck cured properly."
Ribery is expected to be in a plaster cast for the next ten days, then will wear a special cast for a further ten before he can begin light training.
If his recovery goes according to plan, Ribery is expected to return to team training in the second half of October.
With Dutch winger Arjen Robben likely to miss the rest of 2010 with a thigh injury, Ribery’s set-back means Bayern have now lost two key playmakers.
"Of course, Franck is a very important player for us," said Bayern’s director of sport Christian Nerlinger.
"But it is much harder now for him to deal with the situation."
Ribery trained hard in pre-season and looked to have recovered well from his groin operation in June and Nerlinger says the defending champions need their playmaker back as soon as possible.
"We all want him to return and play like he did at the start of the season, without injury.
"He has trained well and given everything.
"This recent injury is a set-back, but only a small one and he will recover very quickly."