German international captain Michael Ballack admits he feared his career was over after struggling to recover from an ankle injury.
The injury, sustained last April, has prevented Ballack from playing this season. At times, the 31-year-old conceded that feared that his career might be over.
“I always believed I would come back. But I have also been incredibly occupied with the injury. I had thousands of questions and none were answered,” Ballack told Die Zeit.
“And sometimes I thought: ‘Man, you are 31 years old, you’ve had 14 good years as a pro. Maybe it’s over’.”
The midfielder had surgery on the injured ankle and after a lengthy spell on the sidelines he has been included in the Chelsea squad for Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final against Liverpool.
Ballack believes the layoff will not hinder his chances of representing Germany at Euro 2008.
“I have enough time to be in top form for June,” referring to the Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland.
“After this injury problem, I’m particularly motivated for the 2010 World Cup finals. After that I will wait and see if I can play a year or two more.”