Bayern Munich forward Franck Ribery is close to full recovery as he trained in football boots for the first time since he injured his ankle in March.
The former Marseille star has not played a competitive fixture since sustaining the injury in a Champions League fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
Ribery has thus far been restricted to running drills and some light work with the ball – albeit in running shoes.
A statement read: “Slowly but surely, long-term injury victim Franck Ribery is returning to full fitness.
“On Friday, at the same time as his team-mates were setting off for the evening Bundesliga fixture in Frankfurt, the French winger pulled on and laced up his football boots for the first time since sustaining an ankle injury last spring.
“Franck’s 45-minute training session out on the pitch also included a few drills with the ball at his feet. Once he was done, the superstar high-fived every one of the 20 or so fans who had watched him train.”
Ribery will again watch from the sidelines as the Bavarians welcomes Arsenal in Match-DayFour of the UEFA Champions League.