Franck Ribery’s latest injury has cast serious doubt over not just his participation in the rest of the season but the career of a player who helped define Bayern Munich.
On the day the Frenchman became the club’s non-German joint record Bundesliga appearance makers, fears are growing that the winger may not get the chance to take the title for himself.
The 34-year-old has torn ligaments in his knee and looks certain to sit out at least the next six months of the season.
It all appeared too much for the winger, who has seen his later-career progress stunted by a number of damaging injuries.
Crumpled in a heap before being helped to hospital, Ribery was in tears as he was carried from the pitch during the 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
He left the ground looking like a man defeated but celebrating a decade at the club, even the French star’s most vocal supporters will accept that this could well be the end of the road for a player that had helped lead Bayern to three Champions League finals in four years.
In 2015, he had to had to have his ankle immobilised in a bid to cure a long standing problem. That after missing the 2014 World Cup with a back injury. Sitting out the tournament, he likened missing the plane to Brazil to ‘a death of the soul’.
His comebacks ever since have been short lived and rumours about attitude problems continued to dog him.
Ribery, thanks to a catalogue of problems, is tragically now a shadow of his former self. A player who helped define an era at the German giants has been playing out the closing stage of his career in constant fear of breaking down.
Alongside Munich great Phillip Lahm, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller, they shaped a side. Time now seems to have caught up with one of Bavaria’s favourite adopted sons.