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Ballack won't retire from Germany team despite injury

Germany's captain Michael Ballack vowed not to retire, despite a leg injury that will keep him from playing for Bayer Leverkusen for at least six weeks.

Ballack on the field

Ballack fractured his shinbone in Saturday's match

Out of commission until at least October, Germany's team captain Michael Ballack said he had no plans to retire, although he felt a lack of respect in regard to his future in the national team.

"The last weeks weren't easy for me. They showed me how things are going now," Ballack told ZDF television.

Ballack, a midfielder for the club Bayern Leverkusen, will miss up to six weeks after fracturing his shinbone just below the knee in Saturday's match against Hanover 96.

The news means that Ballack will not play next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Turkey and Azerbaijan, and may even sit out Germany's final game of the year, a November friendly in Sweden.

Leverkusen's Michael Ballack sits on the bench

Ballack will not play in next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers

Uncertain future

The latest injury casts another shadow over his future in the German team, after Ballack, 33, missed the World Cup because of an ankle injury. The team played well without him, finishing 3rd in South Africa.

Former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness have both hinted he should quit the national team and concentrate on his club.

"Nothing really surprises me anymore," Ballack told ZDF. "In football, things can happen in a fast and funny way."

Author: Sarah Harman (dpa/SID)
Editor: Ben Knight

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