Injured Ballack axed from Chelsea Euro squad

September 3, 2007

LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Germany captain Michael Ballack, who has not played for Chelsea since April because of an ankle injury, has been left out of the squad for the Champions League group stages.

The 30-year-old is still recovering from surgery and will not be fit in time for the start of the competition in two weeks.

However, if Ballack does recover fitness over the next four months he would be eligible for the later stages of the competition should Chelsea qualify.

'We can confirm Michael Ballack has not been included on the list for the group phase,' the club said on their website on Monday.

'Unfortunately Michael's current injury meant, at the time of the squad submission deadline, we could not guarantee his availability for the majority of the group phase games. Naturally we hope Michael's recovery is as quick as possible.'

Chelsea have been drawn with Spain's Valencia, Schalke 04 of Germany and Norwegians Rosenborg Trondheim in Group B.