Germany captain Michael Ballack is doubtful for next month's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Finland because of a niggling foot injury, the German Football Federation (DFB) said on Saturday.

"Ballack spoke by telephone on Friday with Joachim Loew (Germany coach) to tell him that his foot injury picked up at the start of the English championship was still painful," the DFB said.

"It's probable that he will need a longer break."

The 32-year-old, who has won 87 caps and scored 38 goals for the national side, will join the German team on Tuesday to have his injury further assessed.

Ballack already missed an international friendly against Belgium, and will not play in Sunday's Premier League tie against Tottenham.

Germany play Liechtenstein on 6 September at Vaduz and Finland four days later in Helsinki.