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Bayern hit back at Ribery needle fear claim

AFP · 14 Jun 2014, 10:10

Published: 14 Jun 2014 10:10 GMT+02:00

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French team medical chief Franck Le Gall had said Thursday that Ribery, who plays for the German champions and withdrew from the World Cup due to a back
injury, could have still made the trip to Brazil.

"Franck belongs to a club where the treatment for all problems, whatever they are, starts from a base of injections," said Le Gall.

But Bayern doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt "rejected categorically" the allegations in a statement released through his lawyer.

"Firstly, Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrt made available to the French medical team all the documents and analysis and, secondly, he communicated by telephone his medical opinion," the statement said.

Bayern also rejected Le Gall's claim that Ribery was afraid of injections.

"Ribery does not have, to his knowledge, a fear of needles...he only refused the cortisone injection that had been suggested in France.

"The mere fact that Ribery returned to Munich after pulling out of the France squad to seek treatment without cortisone and without painkillers further highlights this fact."

The statement added: "His participation in the World Cup would have been possible had he been treated by him (Müller-Wolfhart)".

On Thursday, Le Gall said that Ribery could no longer cope with injections.

"He can have 10, 20, 25, 40 per problem, per year. We could have chosen this option, which we didn't do," he explained.

"The time came when he couldn't cope with any more injections, so we didn't do it because he's afraid of injections.

"There was no reason for him not to play at the World Cup but seeing as I'm less well known than certain others, they went to Professor (Gerard) Saillant," added Le Gall, in reference to the sports medicine specialist who has treated the likes of rugby star Dan Carter and Formula One legend Michael Schumacher.

"The exam at the clinic was very reassuring with Professor Saillant but he didn't manage to get past the pain and we didn't find any solutions for him to play without pain.

"He has a lumbago (lower back pain) which has been going on for a few weeks. He had a three-week rest and then played one match he shouldn't have (the German Cup final) where he came on (as a substitute) before having to go off again."

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