Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery said today that he is close to making a return from injury, as coach Louis van Gaal expressed his regret at letting Miroslav Klose return too soon.
Ribery, who has been sidelined since September with ankle ligament damage, declared he would be fit for the game against Borussia Monchengladbach on 6 November.
"I think there's a big possibility that I'll be there against Gladbach, at least on the bench. But against Nuremberg [the following weekend] I want to play at all costs," Ribery told the Munich daily TZ.
But the French international could face opposition from van Gaal, who said he should never have listened to Klose's insistence he was fit to return. The German striker is set to spend more time on the sidelines after aggravating a thigh muscle injury training for tonight's game against Freiburg.
"Miro really wanted to be on the bench against Freiburg, he trained and it went badly because he aggravated his thigh injury and will be out for at least two weeks," said van Gaal. "Obviously we went too fast. I made a mistake. It's the first time that I've listened to a player. At 32, you'd think that a player would know better, but a player always wants to play."
Klose tore a muscle in his thigh in Germany's 3-0 win over Kazakhstan in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier earlier this month. Bayern have also been hit by injuries to Mark van Bommel, Arjen Robben and Brazilian defender Breno.
Meanwhile, van Gaal admitted he could have trouble holding onto much sought-after German international midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. "I'm dreading big clubs coming forward to make him enormous offers," said van Gaal. "We're aware that with each great match he plays the interest is becoming stronger and stronger.
"There are clubs who need a Schweinsteiger, he could play at Real Madrid." Schweinsteiger, 26, is under contract with the Bavarian club until 2012. Club bosses are trying to get the 83-times capped midfielder to extend his contract. "It's up to him, I'd like him to stay and I think it would be good for him to stay," added van Gaal.