German midfielder Michael Ballack, who missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ because of an ankle injury, is not fit enough to play in next month's friendly against Denmark, his Bayer Leverkusen coach has revealed.
The former Chelsea player, who returned to his old club during the summer, began training with his new team-mates last week, but Jupp Heynckes does not think he will be ready for the 11 August friendly.
"The match against Denmark is too soon for him. There's no point in thinking about it," Heynckes told Bild. "It would be foolhardy. For a friendly game you have to be fully fit."
The 33-year-old injured his ankle in his last appearance for Chelsea in the FA Cup final in May, and subsequently saw Germany's captaincy passed to Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm for South Africa 2010.
Coach Joachim Low indicated last week that he would speak to both players about their future roles in the national team just before the Denmark game.