Bundesliga - Ballack set for January comeback
Bayer Leverkusen’s Germany captain Michael Ballack has confirmed that he will be ready to play first-team football by the January 15 restart of the Bundesliga season.
Ballack, 34, has been out since September with a micro-fracture to his left tibia and was expected to return in mid-November, but the injury is more serious than first thought.
"My objective for this stage of the comeback is to be at the level where I can get on the pitch and help my team-mates for the Spring matches in the Bundesliga, German Cup and Europa League," Ballack said.
Ballack missed the World Cup with an ankle injury picked up in his last game for Chelsea, the FA Cup final.
Despite returning in time for the start of the season he was omitted from Germany's squad for the August round of Euro 2012 qualifiers due to a lack of match practice.
He picked up his latest injury on September 11, during the 2-2 draw with Hannover.
"He has a huge amount of work ahead of him," boss Jupp Heynckes said.
Leverkusen lie fifth in the Bundesliga.