Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Injured Ballack ruled out of World Cup

Germany captain Michael Ballack has been forced to pull out of the World Cup finals in South Africa, the German football federation (DFB) said Monday.

The 33-year-old Chelsea midfielder limped out of Saturday's FA Cup final win over Portsmouth after an unnecessarily heavy tackle from Kevin-Prince Boateng.

An examination in Munich discovered Ballack had torn his ligaments in his ankle. The German national team doctor said he will likely recover and be able to play football again, but not in time for the World Cup.

The DFB said in a statement that Ballack's right ankle will have to be immobilised and put in a plaster cast. He will then have to wear a special shoe for a further two weeks.

With 98 caps and 42 goals to his name, Ballack was a crucial part of Germany's bid to win the tournament for a fourth time.

"I'm angry, of course. The disappointment is naturally huge," Ballack said. "To get such a diagnosis two or three weeks before the World Cup is bitter. But that's football, things have to continue on."

The injury means Germany will face Australia in their opening World Cup game on June 13 without their most important player.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/sport/20100517-27235.html

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