Ballack may not be ready

MORRIS DALLA COSTA

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

VIENNA -- In a stunning development just before Euro 2008 final, Germany has announced that captain Michael Ballack may not be able to play against Spain.

Ballack injured his right calf Friday and has not been able to train for two days.

The announcement was made by coach Joachim Low at a news conference yesterday. Even though a decision on whether he will play will not be made until just before the game today, Loew is optimistic that Ballack will be ready.

"When I saw him this afternoon he was very optimistic despite everything. He was not too down because the doctors say there is still a chance he could play," Loew said. "But of course, it's a disappointment for any player."

Germany is looking at its options, including moving Bastian Schweinsteiger into Ballack's position in midfield.

Only when Ballack missed his second training session, this one in Vienna, was the announcement made.

"We don't know how he got injured," Loew said. "Sometimes after a game you don't feel it for a day or two. It was inflamed but no one knows how he got it."

Spain is without David Villa after the tournament's leading scorer ruptured a right leg muscle in the semifinals.


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