Ballack out of two German qualifiers

German Football
By German Football May 24, 2007 15:18

Ballack out of two German qualifiers

Germany captain Michael Ballack has pulled out of two Euro 2008 qualifiers next month because he has not yet fully recovered from an operation on his ankle, the German Football Association (DFB) said on Thursday.

‘Ballack informed coach Joachim Loew on Thursday that he will not be able to play,’ DFB spokesman Harald Stenger said in a statement. ‘He is continuing rehabilitation work in London after an operation on his left ankle.’

Germany host San Marino on June 2 and Slovakia four days later in qualifying Group D.

Earlier this month, the DFB had to defend team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt’s decision to operate on Ballack, saying the player risked serious injury without immediate treatment.

British media had criticised the timing of the operation which deprived Chelsea of Ballack in the run-in to the end of the season. Some journalists suggested Ballack chose to have the surgery without consulting Chelsea officials.

Ballack injured his ankle against Newcastle United in a Premier League game on April 22.

He said he flew to Munich to see Mueller-Wohlfahrt — the Germany team doctor as well as his doctor at former club Bayern Munich — for a second opinion after there was no improvement for four days. He then underwent surgery.

Ballack had dismissed the criticism and said media suggestions that the DFB doctor wanted to ensure he would be ready for the European Championship qualifiers in June were absurd.

Ballack said he would never give up the chance to play in the FA Cup final or the Champions League semi-final for a match against San Marino.

Germany head Group D on goal difference with 13 points from five matches, the same as the Czech Republic and Ireland. The Czechs have played six matches and the Irish seven.

Ballack will join the team as a spectator.

‘Ballack also told Loew that he will join the team meeting on Tuesday in Herzogenaurach — and continue his training there as well as receive treatment from the DFB medical team,’ Stenger added.

German Football
By German Football May 24, 2007 15:18
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