Berlin, May 17 : Germany captain Michael Ballack will miss this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa because of an ankle injury, the German football federation (DFB) confirmed Monday.
The Chelsea midfielder was hurt after a late tackle from Kevin Prince-Boateng during his side's 1-0 FA Cup win Saturday over Portsmouth and limped off before half-time.
A scan Monday at the clinic of DFB doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt in Munich revealed that the 33-year-old has torn ligaments in his right ankle and won't be able to return to training for at least eight weeks.
Ballack, who has won 98 caps for Germany and was looking forward to a fourth and probably last finals appearance, will have to wear a plaster cast on his ankle for around four weeks, followed by two weeks with a specially designed shoe.
The news is sure to shock Germany coach Joachim Loew, who on May 7 named Ballack in his preliminary World Cup squad.
On Sunday, Loew said from Germany's training camp in Sicily that Ballack's potential absence would be a "severe loss".
Boateng was booked for his challenge on Ballack, who tried to play on but was replaced by Juliano Belletti just before the interval.
Ballack was due to have had a scan Sunday but heavy swelling meant it had to be postponed until Monday. (DPA)