(CNN) -- Bayern Munich's France winger Franck Ribery will make his return next weekend after two-and-a-half months out through injury, his coach Louis van Gaal has told reporters.
"He's better than ever because he can train without pain," said the Dutchman, who revealed that Ribery would only feature for a few minutes in the home match against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Bayern have overcome a difficult start to the season and currently sit third in the Bundesliga table -- but they have been without Ribery since October 3 due to tendinitis in his left knee.
Ribery, 26, admitted that his absence from the playing field has been hard to endure. "Mentally, I've had a difficult time," he told German magazine Sport Bild.
"Everything annoyed me. I'd had enough of being constantly in pain, when I was driving or even when I was just sitting down."
Ribery's return will be a short-lived affair regardless of how he fares on the pitch, because the German Bundesliga shuts down for the winter break after the next round of matches and does not resume until January 15.
Meanwhile, Luca Toni expects his future to be decided within a fortnight after confirming his time at Bayern Munich is all but over.
The Italy international is surplus to requirements after falling out with van Gaal and a return to Serie A is now firmly on the agenda.
The 32-year-old expects to be able to announce his destination before the end of the year, with Inter Milan and Roma both reportedly showing interest.
"Certainly I will be leaving Munich," he said on a visit to a supporters' club in South Tyrol. "That will be decided in the next 10 days but I don't have any chances left here."