Ribery embarks on latest comeback

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Franck Ribery returned to Bayern Munich training on Thursday as his first-team return edged closer.

The winger has been limited to just nine appearances in all competitions this season due to a host of muscular problems, and has not featured at all since Bayern's 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in late September due to a persistent thigh injury.

On a number of occasions he has appeared close to being part of Carlo Ancelotti's matchday squad but setbacks have hampered his progress.

Bayern host Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday and the league leaders are hopeful the 33-year-old could play some part, however the prospects for Thiago Alcantara and Douglas Costa are not as bright.

"Two days before the top Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and Bayern Franck Ribery completed the squad programme for the first time after recovering from a thigh injury," a statement read.

"Thiago and Douglas Costa took a breather on Thursday, pursuing individual programmes after warming up together."