Ribery optimistic he can make early return from knee injury

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The Bayern Munich winger was expected to miss three months with a knee ligament injury, but now hopes to be back before the winter break

Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery says he is optimistic he can make an early return from his knee ligament injury. 

The Frenchman tore the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee in his club's match against Hertha on October 2. 

Bayern 13/2 to win Champions League

Ribery was initially expected to miss up to three months, which would have kept him out until 2018, but the 34-year-old now believes he'll be able to return a month ahead of schedule. 

"I feel no pain," Ribery said after Bayern's 5-0 win over Freiburg on Saturday. "I just have to wait. I will be fit for the [winter break] preseason 100 per cent, I have to be with the team in Qatar.

"Maybe I can already play again before the winter break."

Bayern Munich's final match before the Bundesliga winter break is on December 16 at Stuttgart. Jupp Heynckes' men then return to action after the break on January 13 against Leverkusen. 

Meanwhile, Bayern defender Javi Martinez suffered a shoulder injury in the Freiburg match, and Heynckes said the Spaniard would likely miss the club's Champions League game against Celtic on Wednesday.

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On Twitter after the game, however, Martinez insisted that he would not be out long. 

Following their match against Celtic, Bayern return to Bundesliga action with an away match at Hamburg on Saturday, October 21. 

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