Bayern’s veteran wingers return to training ahead of Leverkusen clash

Bayern Munich wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are back in training but will most likely not be fit enough to face Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, Niko Kovac has confirmed. Robben has missed Bayern’s last seven Bundesliga matches, having aggravated a thigh injury in November. He returned to training on Monday.

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Ribery hasn’t played since December because of a hamstring injury, suffered during Bayern’s training camp in Qatar over the winter break. He has been training alone since then, but was back with the rest of the team on Wednesday.

Arjen Robben,Franck Ribery

Kovac said before last weekend’s victory over Stuttgart that he hoped to have at least one of his wingers back for the Leverkusen match, but admitted on Thursday that he may have been too optimistic. “Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben aren’t quite ready yet. We don’t want to take any risks,” said Kovac (via Twitter), who also confirmed that Thiago Alcantara had missed training on Thursday but would be back on Friday.

There is also positive news on French midfielder Corentin Tolisso, who has been out of action since August with a cruciate ligament injury. On Thursday, he completed his first running exercises after four months of treatment.

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“He feels really good. He has been able to train on the pitch after a long time, he is really happy about that,” Kovac told Bayern’s website. Seven consecutive wins have kept Bayern Munich in touch at the top of the Bundesliga, but they are still six points adrift of leaders Borussia Dortmund, who go to Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend.