Ballack limps out of WC

Germanys key player to miss the mega event due to ankle injury

Ballack limps out of WC

Germany’s prolific scorer Michael Ballack will not take part in the World Cup 2010 to be held in South Africa due to an ankle injury. AP

It was also a personal setback for 33-year-old Ballack, who was set to play at his third World Cup and is unlikely to get another chance to perform on the sport's biggest stage.
Chelsea midfielder Ballack was injured in the first half of Saturday's English FA Cup final against Portsmouth, limping off during the first-half of his team's 1-0 win after a late tackle by Kevin-Prince Boateng.

The ankle was so badly swollen that a planned scan on Sunday had to be postponed until Monday morning.

"There's naturally a lot of disappointment. It's bitter to get a diagnosis like that two or three weeks before the World Cup. But that's football. That happens. Life goes on," Ballack told German television. "He (Germany coach Joaquim Loew) is naturally disappointed. I'll fly down there now and we'll let it all sink in," added Ballack, who broke off the interview and hobbled away on crutches.

Loew said: "Michael Ballack is a very important player for us, in the decisive matches he often played a very, very important role for us, a central role for us.

"We were all naturally shocked this morning when we got the news. I talked to Michael. He's deeply disappointed. He put all his energy and power into playing in this World Cup. "He's near his 100th cap. That would have been a match in Frankfurt against Bosnia.

"That's an immense disappointment for him to not be able to play in this World Cup. "I called the team together and spoke with the team and passed along the information. It's very, very unfortunate for us. But it shows we have to pull all our strength together and look forward. We've got a lot of young players. "We've now got to get to that point that our younger players get this self-confidence and can grew into the roles."

The DFB said Ballack has suffered a tear of one ankle ligament and a partial tear of another. They said his right ankle would be placed in a cast and he would have to wear a special shoe for two weeks once the cast was removed.

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