Guardiola: Ribery can play if he can train without pain

The Frenchman is primed to make a comeback in the Stuttgart clash but new signing Mehdi Benatia is likely to be left out


Franck Ribery has convinced Pep Guardiola that he is ready to make his first appearance of the season when Bayern Munich face Stuttgart.

The former France winger has not played since Bayern’s DFB-Pokal triumph in May due to a knee injury.

Ribery missed the World Cup with a back problem and has since retired from international duty, but Bayern coach Guardiola is set to unleash the former Olympique de Marseille man on Stuttgart in Saturday’s Bundesliga clash at the Allianz Arena.

“If he doesn’t have any problems with his patella tendon, then he can play.” said the former Barcelona coach.

“The last 10 to fourteen days he has trained well, almost without pain.”

Guardiola has warned not to expect too much, too soon from Ribery following a lengthy lay-off, however.

He added: “Let’s not forget he’s made perhaps one 90-minute appearance in the last three to four months.”

The Spaniard revealed that recent signing Mehdi Benatia is not ready to make his Bayern bow this weekend.

He said: “Benatia still needs time, but he will help us sooner or later. We have signed a great player.”

Bayern recorded two wins over Stuttgart last season by virtue of last-minute goals and Guardiola has not forgotten the challenge posed by Armin Veh’s outfit.

“Stuttgart aren’t easy,” he warned.

“It’s an important month. The players have trained very well. They’re fit and ready.”

Guardiola said that all the players away on international duty have returned fully fit, but there are doubts over Xabi Alonso and Arjen Robben, while Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez, Thiago, Rafinha and Mitchell Weiser are all out.

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