Ribery doubt for Bayern as veteran Butt returns

Ribery doubt for Bayern as veteran Butt returns

Published Apr. 15, 2011 3:48 p.m. ET

Franck Ribery is the latest Bayern Munich player to be ruled doubtful for his side's crucial Bundesliga match against Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

The French winger was unable to complete Friday's training session because of a muscle injury.

He was examined by team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt but a prognosis was not yet known.

Bayern, fourth in the Bundesliga, meets Leverkusen aiming to finish at least third and qualify for next season's Champions League. Leverkusen is in second place, five points behind leader Borussia Dortmund.


Starting Sunday, 36-year-old Joerg Butt will return as goalkeeper for the final five Bundesliga games to replace the erratic Thomas Kraft, the Bayern interim coach, Andries Jonker, said.

''I have to ensure Bayern Munich qualify for the Champions League. I think there's a better chance with Butt at the moment,'' said Jonker, the 48-year-old Dutchman.

''It's also not easy for Butt, but easier than it would be for Thomas. I have confidence Joerg will do his job well.''

Bayern had said Thursday that midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is ''very doubtful'' to play this weekend because of an ankle injury.

The Germany international was hurt in a challenge by teammate Arjen Robben, ruling him out of Friday's and Saturday's training sessions.

Bayern already has to do without the services of Dutch winger Robben, suspended for two games after insulting the referee after last week's 1-1 draw at Nuremberg, and defender Holger Badstuber, who has accumulated five yellow cards.

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk is likely to return to midfield after playing much of the season in defense, as Jonker opts for experience.

''It's important that we're calm and confident, and that we do what we want to do,'' he said.

Leverkusen's coach is Jupp Heynckes, who will take over at Bayern next season for his third stint at the club.

''It would be a great pleasure if my team won,'' said Heynckes, who was in his first stint at Bayern when Leverkusen last won in Munich, on October 21, 1989.

''We're in a privileged situation. We're the best team in the second half (of the season). And we're on the ball.''