In a huge blow for the German National Team, Captain and all-around talisman Michael Ballack has been ruled out of this Summer’s FIFA World Cup.
Ballack sustained an injury following a nasty tackle from Portsmouth’s Kevin-Prince Boateng during the FA Cup Final.
Chelsea Midfielder Ballack was able to confirm following the game that there was no break, but was to be sent for an MRI scan to assess the extent of the damage.
A statement from the DFB said: “National team captain Michael Ballack is out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“This is the result of an MRI on Monday morning in Munich. A tear of the medial collateral ligament of the right ankle was found.
“The right ankle is immobilised in a plaster. He will have to wear a special shoe for two weeks.
“After the diagnosis of national team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt today, a complete healing of the injury is expected.
“Ballack’s return to training is possible at the earliest in eight weeks.”
Germany have been drawn in Group D alongside Australia, Ghana and Serbia. Interestingly Kevin-Prince Boateng was recently snubbed by the Ghanaian National Squad as he failed to be selected for the 30-man provisional squad.
Germany will lament the loss of Ballack, who is nearing the 100 cap mark for his country. As well as his presence in the centre of midfield, Ballack can also boast that Germany have never lost a game in which Ballack himself has scored.
The news will also be devastating to adidas, as Ballack is a huge personality – especially in his homeland – where he promotes adidas products including the Germany National Team kits for the World Cup and the adidas Predator_X Football Boots.