Bayern lose Ribery for a month
© AFP

Franck Ribery is expected to be out for at least four weeks with an ankle injury, which will rule him out of Bayern Munich's next two games in the UEFA Champions League.

After falling awkwardly, the France playmaker had to be helped off following an hour of his side's 2-1 win over Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga last night, and an MRI scan in Munich has revealed he has torn ligaments in his right ankle.

Ribery, who missed five months of last season with a knee injury, will be sidelined for Bayern's European encounters away to Basel and at home to Cluj in Group E.

"I feared it was worse than this, so I'm a little relieved,"said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal after hearing the news. "Our misfortune is a blessing in disguise. Now we can look to getting Franck cured properly. I hope he recovers well and rejoins the team as soon as possible."

Ribery is expected to be in plaster for the next ten days, then will wear a special cast for a further ten before he can begin light training.

Bayern sporting director Christian Nerlinger said: "Our first reaction was that it was really bad, but he won't require surgery, so there's a silver lining to the cloud.

"I think he might be in a position to resume the team training programme in about three weeks. Obviously, Franck is a very important player for us but the most difficult aspect is how he'll cope with the situation."

If his recovery goes according to plan, Ribery is expected to return to team training in the second half of October.