Injured Ribery facing seven weeks out

June 18, 2008

VEVEY, Switzerland, June 18 (Reuters) - France playmaker Franck Ribery will be out for seven to eight weeks after spraining his left ankle and hurting his knee in the 2-0 defeat by Italy at Euro 2008.

'He has a nasty ankle sprain,' France coach Raymond Domenech told a news conference on Wednesday. 'He's walking on crutches, he can't put his foot down.'

His club side Bayern Munich later said on their website that he was due to have an operation in Munich on Thursday.

The statement said he would be out for seven to eights weeks and was a doubt for the start of the German Cup and Bundesliga in August.

'We deeply regret that Franck was hurt,' Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. 'But at the same time we're happy that the first ominous diagnosis turned out not to be true.'

German television had reported that he may have suffered a broken leg.

Ribery was injured in a challenge on Gianluca Zambrotta and was carried off on a stretcher 10 minutes into the Group C game in Zurich on Tuesday.

Italy qualified for the quarter-finals while France were eliminated.