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Ribery suffers another injury setback

Ribery has had a wretched time with injuries at Bayern Munich this season.
Ribery has had a wretched time with injuries at Bayern Munich this season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bayern Munich's France international midfielder Franck Ribery has suffered another injury setback
  • Ribery played a part in just six Bundesliga matches during the first half of the 2009-10 season
  • The 26-year-old had to have his big toes operated on after they swelled up on a flight to Dubai

(CNN) -- Bayern Munich's France international midfielder Franck Ribery has suffered another injury setback in his battle to return to first team action.

Ribery played a part in just six Bundesliga matches during the first half of the 2009-10 season, lasting the whole 90 minutes only once due to a string of injuries.

His knee and toe caused the most frequent problems and it is the latter which has forced him to miss the first session of Bayern's winter training camp in Dubai.

Bayern coach Louis van Gaal told the club's official Web site: "It is practically incredible and very bitter for the coach and the team.

"But we cannot change it. We hope that the medical department works hard and he returns as quickly as possible."

Ribery had joined the rest of his team-mates for a jog around Munich on Sunday before the flight to the United Arab Emirates, but upon arrival in Dubai both of his big toes were swollen.

We hope that the medical department works hard and he returns as quickly as possible.
--Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal

Holes were drilled into the toenails to release an accumulation of blood and relieve the pain in a bid to get the 26-year-old back on his feet as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Bayern are looking to trim their squad, despite four players leaving the Bavarian giants during the winter break.

Bayern have offloaded Luca Toni to Roma, Andreas Ottl and Breno to Nuremberg and Alexander Baumjohann to Schalke, but director of sport Christian Nerlinger claims that is just the tip of the iceberg.

"We are going to try to reduce the wagebill futher," he told Kicker magazine. "The wages have gone through the roof and therefore we have got to get our message through to the players that a new contract does not necessarily mean a pay rise."

Toni was Bayern's biggest earner alongside Ribery, whose future is already the focus of intense transfer speculation and who, given the implied cost-cutting measures, now seems even less likely to commit himself to a new contract.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness has already revealed the Frenchman will be sold in the summer if he does not extend his contract beyond 2011, although an exception still may be made to Bayern's wage structure to keep hold of the 26-year-old.

"Every case has to be dealt with individually and according to the market," added Nerlinger. However, after spending almost 80 million euros on new players last summer, Nerlinger insists his club has "reached the limit" as far as signing new players is concerned.