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Jun 5, 2014

Franck Ribery 'optimistic' over fitness

Didier Deschamps is happy with his team's preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, despite injury concerns surrounding winger Franck Ribery.

Franck Ribery is "optimistic" that he can overcome his recent injury troubles to play for France at the World Cup.

- Laurens: Can Ribery recover in time for Brazil?
- Johnson: Still work to do for Les Bleus

Despite being named in Dider Deschamps' 23-man squad for the tournament, the Bayern Munich winger has struggled with a recurring back problem for much of the 2013-14 campaign and made just 18 Bundesliga starts.

Ribery will undergo a fitness test on Friday to examine his availability for the game against Jamaica on Sunday, and while the 31-year-old confirmed that he is still experiencing pain from the injury, he feels positive about his chances of featuring in Brazil.

"I still experience back pain," Ribery told kicker. Regarding his fitness for the World Cup, he stated: "I am not sure if its enough but I'm optimistic."

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud stated earlier this week that Ribery was "angry and worried" about his fitness, while Deschamps is hopeful that one of his pivotal players can return in time for the opening game of the tournament against Honduras on June 15.

"I'm going to repeat to you what I said last Sunday: the goal still remains to have him available for the match this Sunday. It's not a deadline, it's a target," Deschamps said on Wednesday.

"He had a break with his family and has been working with a staff member who stayed with him to keep him on the training plan laid out for him."

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