Bayern München chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes Franck Ribery will return from injury before the Bundesliga's winter break.
The former France international has been sidelined since March with ankle and back problems and no timeline on a comeback has been set as yet.
But while Rummenigge does not expect Ribery back any time soon, he is confident the winger will return to contention before the turn of the year.
"I have no doubt about it that Franck will return to the pitch this year," Rummenigge told TZ.
"The first thing we need now is an exact diagnosis of the problem. It could still be a while, though."
Bayern, though, have made a good start to the Bundesliga campaign without the Frenchman, with new arrival Douglas Costa proving to be a more than adequate stand-in.