Franck Ribery due back in training with France

Back injury had sidelined winger but he should train with Les Bleus later today

France offered an encouraging update on Franck Ribery's World Cup hopes as the Bayern Munich star rejoined training with Didier Deschamps' squad.

The 80-cap winger has been struggling with a back problem and has been following an individual training programme, with Friday’s session marking his return to group work as he attempts to prove his fitness for the tournament in Brazil.

Assistant coach Guy Stephan told French radio station RTL: "His progress is going quite well, he's doing a lot better but he still hasn't trained with the team.

“All the most specific and specialised care possible has been taken, and is still being taken. He is training with the team on Friday. If everything goes well, he will be there.


“We will get an idea of what he is capable of doing on the field and with the ball, whether he can keep going on Saturday, Sunday etc. It is an important step.”

While Ribery rejoins his team-mates, though, Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier will be absent having scans on a thigh injury which forced an early end to his session on Thursday.

The playmaker missed much of the Ligue 1 run-in with a groin problem and limped off Les Bleus’ training field at Clairefontaine, with the adductor muscle reported to be causing the problem this time.

Should Grenier or Ribery be forced to sit out the World Cup, Deschamps has options among his seven-man replacement list.

Grenier's club-mate Maxime Gonalons or Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin could step into midfield, with Montpellier's Remy Cabella or another Lyon player, Alexandre Lacazette, able to operate on the wings.

The former Marseille coach has already been forced into one change to his original squad, with injured OM goalkeeper Steve Mandanda replaced by St Etienne's Stephane Ruffier.

France start their campaign in Group E with a match against Honduras on June 15th.