Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack is set to start tomorrow's UEFA Europa League match for Bayer Leverkusen at home to Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv as he continues to work his way back to fitness.
"The game against Kharkiv is a good chance for Michael Ballack to get some match fitness back," Leverkusen's director of sport Rudi Voller told daily newspaper Bild.
Ballack, 34, has had a wretched season with injury so far, as he tries to win back his place in the German national team. He is hoping to be included when Germany face Kazakhstan in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier at home on 26 March, then Australia in a friendly match three days later.
Having damaged ligaments in his right ankle in May last season, Ballack missed the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, then fractured his left tibia just below the knee in September on only this third game back from injury for Bayer.
He spent four months out of football to recover and returned in January, but after three games back was sent for a scan after complaining of pain in his knee.
Ballack came off the bench after 65 minutes of Leverkusen's 4-2 win over Stuttgart in the Bundesliga last Sunday having been left out of the side which beat Metalist 4-0 away in the Ukraine last week in sub-zero temperatures.
The former Chelsea star has made just seven league appearances this season and played a full 90 minutes in the Bundesliga just twice.