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Oct 21, 2013

Dante out injured, Ribery to return

Bayern Munich centre-back Dante is set for a fortnight on the sidelines, but his teammate Franck Ribery is hoping to return to action against Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.

Dante and Bayern beat Barca 4-0 in Munich
Dante injured himself during the win against Mainz.

Schaaf: Duo make the difference

Dante, 30, sustained a deep cut to his left ankle during Saturday's 4-1 win over Mainz.

The injury meant the Brazil international had to be substituted towards the end of the first half at the Allianz Arena, and left him needing crutches.

“I can’t say a lot," he said after the match. "I don’t really know how it happened. And I don’t want to say anything more than that."

Ribery, 30, missed the Mainz game with an ankle injury, however, he is hopeful of an immediate return to action when the European champions host Plzen in the Champions League this week.

“It is nothing serious and I wanted to play, but the doctor said it was too much of a risk,” he told the club’s official website.

Unlike Dante and Ribery, Bayern midfielder Mario Goetze has managed to stay fit recently, and on Saturday he took his chance against Mainz after replacing Rafinha at the break.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola moved captain Philipp Lahm back to right-back, and played Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos in holding midfield, meaning Goetze, 21, had plenty of freedom in an advanced role.

The youngster followed up on his good performance for Germany against Sweden last week by creating two goals on Saturday.

“I’m naturally pleased. I just wanted to help the team,” Goetze told the club’s official website. “We were in a complicated position: Mainz basically stopped us making chances, and then we fell behind. We came up with much better solutions in the second half, we found gaps and we were more determined in front of goal.”

He added: “The only thing that matters to me is to get back to playing for an extended period of time.”

With a total of 90 minutes under his belt in the past week, Goetze said that the “playing time has done me the world of good” and that “the more I play, the fitter I’ll become”.

The midfielder’s performance was widely praised by Bayern players and officials.

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer said that Goetze was “elemental” in turning the match around.

Germany teammate Thomas Mueller added that Goetze was “very lively” on the pitch, while Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said “Mario is on a good way. He needs a few more games to be at his best. Then we’ll get even better”.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, however, insists he will not rush things.

He said: “He needs more time and more training.”

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