Bayern's Ribery fit for his first game of the season
11 September 2014, 18:58
Berlin - Bayern Munich are set to benefit from the return of winger Franck Ribery, who is ready to make his season debut against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday after overcoming a nagging knee injury.
The German champions have had a less explosive start to the season than last year, drawing 1-1 at Schalke 04 on Aug 30 in their second league game after winning their opening match at Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern, who last season outclassed all competition to win the domestic league and cup double, have also had a bad injury run, with almost half a dozen players out.
The latest concern is new signing Xabi Alonso, who missed training this week due to a foot injury and has only just begun running again.
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Dutch winger Arjen Robben is also training alone following an ankle injury while defender Rafinha is still some way from coming back following a ligament injury. Bastian Schweinsteiger is also out.
The return of Frenchman Ribery, who earlier this month announced his retirement from international football, should inject more pace into Bayern's game against Stuttgart, who have picked up only one point from their first two games.
"I feel good and am fit for Saturday," Ribery said on Wednesday. "Now all I need is to get into the rhythm of playing."
That should be no problem, with the Stuttgart game followed by their Champions League group premiere against Manchester City next week and a total of seven games in all competitions in 22 days for them.
Dortmund, last season's Bundesliga runners-up, have their own injury concerns. Midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski is ruled out for at least four weeks after the Pole suffered a muscle tear in training on Wednesday.
He joins Marco Reus, injured in Germany's 2-1 win over Scotland on Sunday, as Dortmund's latest casualties.
Coach Juergen Klopp will, however, have forward Ciro Immobile fit against Freiburg despite his injury while on international duty with Italy.
"His injury is not that bad and I am confident he will be there on Saturday," Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told Reuters on Thursday.
Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, the only side with a 100 percent record from the league's first two rounds of matches, will be without injured teenage talent Julian Brandt and captain Simon Rolfes against Werder Bremen on Friday.
SC Paderborn 07, the surprise package in the early weeks of the season following their promotion from Bundesliga 2, are at home to FC Koln.
The club, formed from a series of mergers and name changes, are in their first season in the German top flight and clinched their first victory at that level against Hamburg after drawing their opening league fixture against FSV Mainz.