Bayern Munich could be in for a challenging month both domestically and in Europe as Franck Ribery has joined Arjen Robben on the treatment table.
The two wingers have regularly worked in tandem in the past to torment defences, so losing Robben for what appears to be the whole season was already a massive blow for Louis van Gaal.
However, the other part of the double act will now also be missing for some upcoming crucial games after damaging ligaments in his right ankle as Bayern battled back from being a goal down to win 2-1 away at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
Bayern are still 1/2 to win the Bundesliga despite Ribery’s injury and Van Gaal remains relieved that the French international is only expected to be out for a month.
He said: “I had expected a worse injury. We hope he will recover quickly.”
Ribery will undergo surgery on the injury, but it is thought that he will be ready to return to training in around three weeks.
Bayern may feel that they have the squad depth to cope with Ribery’s absence, especially as he spent five months out last season with a knee injury and they still reached the Champions League final and won the Bundesliga.
Hamit Altintop and Toni Kroos are likely to play in the wide positions for their next domestic game, which is at home to surprise early season table toppers Mainz.
Mainz have opened up a five-point gap at the head of the standings after winning all of their opening five games, with young striker Andre Schurrle impressing with three goals from the substitute’s bench.
Mainz are still 28/1 to win the Bundesliga this season despite their impressive start. See the whole Bundesliga winners market.