Bayern without Ribery for league opener
BERLIN - Agence France-PresseGerman giant Bayern Munich will kick off its league campaign on Saturday at Bundesliga newcomer Greuther Fuerth without France wing Franck Ribery, who is recovering from a fever.
“Franck is definitely out,” confirmed Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes on Friday ahead of the trip to newly-promoted Bavarian neighbor Fuerth, which won the second division title last season and is in the Bundesliga for the first time.
Ribery came off at halftime in Bayern’s 4-0 German Cup first-round win at Jahns Regensburg on Monday and the 29-year-old has been suffering with a cold and high fever all week.
Heynckes said Ribery had “not yet fully recovered” and will only start work again on Saturday with some light running and will return to team training on Tuesday.
“Anything else would be counterproductive. If a player had a few days of fever, he needs a few days to get back to work fully,” said Heynckes.
Ribery joins striker Mario Gomez, defenders Rafinha, Diego Contento, Daniel van Buyten and midfielder David Alaba who are all convalescing.
New signing Brazilian defender Dante is expected to start at Fuerth, but Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will start on the bench as he continues to work his way back to fitness following a foot injury.
“Maybe he can play a half, depending on the game situation,” said Heynckes. “He is his old self, he is relaxed and everyday you can see his outstanding potential. This is very positive, because he can make the difference for us.”