Franck Ribery has missed six and a half months due to a nagging ankle injury, but Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has high hopes he will return, and return soon.
"I hope after the international break he can start training again," said Guardiola on Friday in his press conference.
As kicker astutely noted, this is the first tangible timetable anyone has given for Ribéry since his initial prognosis back in March. Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in mid-September he expected Ribéry back in 2015, but the mid-October return date is a much more optimistic timetable.
Ribéry has yet to resume on-field activities, so Guardiola's prognosis could be more hopeful than accurate. Bayern have managed to find solutions without Ribéry, or even Arjen Robben, in the team as well, so a prompt return may not be necessary. The recent acquisitions of Douglas Costa and Kinglsey Coman have worked out in spades so far, and the long-term flank solution could continue to be the shot-term one as long as the two stay in form.