Ribery back with Bayern ahead of weekend Leverkusen match

Ribery back with Bayern ahead of weekend Leverkusen match
Photo: DPA
Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will take on bottom side Energie Cottbus on Saturday with midfield star Franck Ribery despite his injury scare with France.

Ribery picked up an ankle knock in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw against Uruguay in Paris but has been a big factor for third-placed Bayern as they closed the gap to three points behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

The Frenchman has scored in each of the last five games for Bayern and was back to his best after his summer ankle injury playing for France at Euro 2008 as he helped Bayern rise from 11th to third in the league.

“There is no problem, he can play,” said Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann.

Germany midfielder Tim Borowski is also fit to face Cottbus having shaken off stomach muscle problems while defender Lucio is back in training after an adductor muscle injury.

Energie Cottbus have picked up just two wins all season, but Bayern lost in Cottbus last season on their way to the league title.

League leaders Leverkusen can also expect to pick up three points when they travel to Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

Bielefeld are second from bottom with just one win to their credit while Bayer have Patrick Helmes in their ranks fresh from scoring for Germany in the 2-1 defeat by England on Wednesday.

Leverkusen are on 28 points, level with second-placed rivals Hoffenheim, who are at mid-table Cologne on Saturday.

Cologne are still without captain Umit Oezat, who collapsed during a game with a heart complaint at the beginning of the season. Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic looks to add to his 14 goals in 13 games.

Having slipped down the table to eighth, Schalke are waiting on the fitness of Albert Streit (knee problem) and Gerald Asamoah (flu) for their match against struggling Borussia Mönchengladbach.

With impressive wins over Hoffenheim and Hamburg in recent weeks, Hertha Berlin are at Bochum looking to build on their fourth place in the league.

Striker Marko Pantelic is hoping to be fit to play after receiving treatment for a thigh injury he picked up against Hamburg.

In the day’s other games, mid-table Wolfsburg are at home to VfB Stuttgart while Eintracht Frankfurt welcome Hannover.

On Sunday, Hamburg are looking for three points from their home game against Werder Bremen to challenge for the top spot.

Martin Jol’s Hamburg have been in erratic form of late and three defeats in five games have dropped them to fifth.

They will be without Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong, who has aggravated a knee injury after missing the last five weeks.

Despite their presence in the Champions League, Werder Bremen are only seventh and picked up their second league win in seven games last Sunday when they beat Cologne 3-1.

Bremen face Anorthosis Famagusta in Cyprus next Wednesday in the Champions League and coach Thomas Schaaf will want three points from Hamburg to boost his squad’s flagging confidence.