Former Germany captain Michael Ballack, who missed the 2010 World Cup because of an injury suffered on the eve of the tournament and has since moved from Chelsea to Bayer
Leverkusen, has been dropped for next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers.
But Coach Joachim Loew says the door is still open for him to soon return to the national squad. Loew told the 33-year-old he'll be left out of games against Belgium in Brussels next Friday then Azerbaijan four days later in Cologne to work on his fitness.
"It was a good and honest talk," Loew said. "Michael is on the right track three months after his serious injury and we are all satisfied with the recovery process. What is important now is that he works his way back into form with Leverkusen."