Ribery may miss World Cup play-off

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BERLIN - France playmaker Franck Ribery could miss his country's World Cup play-off matches against Ireland in November due to a niggling knee injury that has flared up in recent weeks, his coach at Bayern Munich said.

France must get past Ireland to reach the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, with the first leg taking place on November 14 and the return match on November 18.

"We have decided to allow the injury to heal," Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal told reporters after his team's 2-1 defeat at Girondins Bordeaux on Wednesday where Ribery did not play. "This could last up to a month," Van Gaal said.

The France playmaker picked up the injury during pre-season training and has not managed to fully overcome it, playing in only a handful of matches since the start of the Bundesliga.