Franck Ribery, the 30-year-old UEFA Player of the Year and Bayern Munich stalwart, will be out for this weekend's intense match against league rival's Borussia Dortmund with a partially fractured rib. The French international suffered the injury while on international duty in France's 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Ukraine on Tuesday.
"I'm obviously gutted, because I was desperate to play in the big game in Dortmund." he told the press. Understandably so, as this is an opportunity for Bayern Munich to attempt to put the Bundesliga title race to what could possibly be an early bed. The league leaders currently sit four points up on their rivals and being able to open up a seven point lead this early in the season would be massive considering Bayern Munich have already qualified for the Champions League knockout rounds.
The bigger, almost looming, question is how long Ribery will be out. Bayern Munich are entering a heavy run of matches playing 9 matches in the next 31 days, or two a week for the next month. On a team already decimated with injuries, three players have come back from international duty sporting injuries. While Arjen Robben is expected to play, the jury is still out on Javier Martinez's status. A team that was already dipping into it's reserves to field a squad of 18 in some matches, might now be down several more as they head towards the winter break. Adding Franck Ribery to the pile of those under caution is a bad omen. Rib fractures, even partial ones, can be fickle injuries.