Arjen Robben says Bayern Munich need Franck Ribery back to full fitness after the French winger returned to training on Monday following a two-month break for his latest injury.
The 32-year-old Ribery endured a miserable 2015 and tore a thigh muscle in mid-December in just his second game back after nine months out with an ankle injury.
Ribery’s return comes too soon for Bayern’s German Cup quarter-final at second division VfL Bochum on Wednesday.
But he was a welcome sight running out at Bayern’s training ground alongside Germany’s World Cup winner Mario Goetze, who has also been injured.
“It’s nice that Franck is back. We need him,” said Netherlands captain Robben, with their Champions League last-16 clash at Juventus now just a fortnight away.
The French winger has said he wants to return to form to help Bayern repeat their 2013 treble of German Cup, Bundesliga and Champions League titles this season.
“I am convinced that I can once again be the Ribery of old,” he told magazine Sport Bild.
“Everything will be decided in the second half of the season and these are the games I want to be involved with.”
There was more good news for Bayern coach Pep Guardiola as centre-back Medhi Benatia is expected to be back in training soon with Jerome Boateng and Javi Martínez both out long-term.
Robben has warned Bayern’s star-studded squad not to take Bochum lightly.
The second-division outfit beat top tier sides Hertha Berlin, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen in warm-up matches in January.
“We have been warned. There’s no need to talk about the second division, Bochum could easily play in the Bundesliga,” said Robben.
“We need to be fully concentrated and give our all.”