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Injuries cloud build-up to midweek clash

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Injuries cloud build-up to midweek clash

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:30 pm

Bayern have been hit by a string of injuries to key players ahead of their final home fixture in the Champions League group stage against Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa. Luca Toni is definitely out of the midweek clash with a strain, with Arjen Robben unlikely to feature in the do-or-die encounter. "Robben probably won't be able to play," Louis van Gaal confirmed on Tuesday.

Dutch winger Robben last featured in match action against Schalke in early November, but is continuing to struggle with a knee problem. Toni has not yet shaken off the injury which ruled him out of the weekend meeting with Leverkusen and has withdrawn from the squad to face Haifa, Van Gaal said.

A question-mark remains over Hamit Altintop's fitness for Wednesday. The Turkey international felt a calf go tight shortly before the Bundesliga fixture against Bayer and had to pull out of the match. "But I hope he's fit in time for Maccabi," the Bayern coach remarked.

On the plus side, Edson Braafheid and Danijel Pranjic have returned to contention. Neither of the summer signings from the Dutch first division was able to play a part on Sunday due to flu, but both resumed the squad training programme on Monday.

Ribéry in quarantine

Long-term absentee Franck Ribéry (patellar tendon) remains unavailable for selection, although the Frenchman was able to go jogging again on Tuesday. "He's training hard and making good progress," commented Van Gaal. "You can see he's fired up and burning to play again," reported keeper Jörg Butt a few days ago: "Watching us train is clearly hurting him."

However, Ribéry is currently spared that particular unpleasantness. His wife Wahiba has been diagnosed with swine flu, so the 26-year-old is quarantined up to and including Wednesday. FCB physiotherapist Gianni Bianchi has been assigned to supervise an individual workout programme for Ribéry, who is himself showing no signs of any illness.
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