Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has taken another step towards possible involvement in the Champions League last 16 clash with Arsenal after ramping up his recovery from a thigh problem. The former France international has not played since suffering the knock in training on 31 January.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful of being able to call upon the 33-year-old after he missed his third game in a row in the 1-1 draw with FC Ingolstadt. Ribery has endured a campaign littered with injuries, making just 13 Bundesliga appearances, scoring twice and delivering seven assists.
One player definitely missing for Bayern is defender Jerome Boateng, who continues to recover from surgery on a chest muscle tendon he underwent in December. Germany's player of the year for 2016 was only expected to miss six weeks but has instead skipped eight matches and is unavailable to face Arsenal – despite recently returning to training.
"Jérôme Boateng is making good progress in his comeback from injury," a Bayern statement read. "The German footballer of the year took the next step in his rehabilitation programme on Monday morning as he took part in some warm-up exercises with the rest of the team.
"The centre-back then continued his individual training. Boateng has been out of action since having an operation on his chest muscle in December. Franck Ribéry was also toiling away as he nears his return."
Arsenal have lost their three previous two-legged knock-out ties against Bayern all at the round-of-16 stage, being eliminated in 2005, 2013 and 2014. The Bavarian giants thrashed the Gunners 5-1 in their last meeting in the group phase in November 2015 and striker Robert Lewandowski, who opened the scoring that night, is hoping for a repeat performance.
"Arsenal have very good footballers," he told Bayern's official website. "They know what it means to play in the Champions League. We need to concentrate on ourselves. If we play our game then Arsenal probably won't get many chances. But we must play well from back to front."