Ballack reveals New Year hopes
Michael Ballack is hoping to stay injury free and get back to his best when he returns in the New Year.
Last Updated: 15/12/10 4:43pm
Germany star Michael Ballack is hoping to stay injury free and get back to his best when he returns in the New Year.
The former Chelsea midfielder missed the World Cup after suffering an ankle injury in the FA Cup final in May.
He then fractured a bone in his knee on 11th September in just his third game back in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen and has been out ever since.
But the 34-year-old hopes to stay injury free next year and prove the doubters wrong who have questioned whether he can be the same player again.
"I just hope I stay healthy next year, then people will see that I can get back to the level I was at before my injury," Ballack told the German media.
"We want to play in the Champions League and, of course, I want to be there to help the team."
Ballack will train with the second-placed Leverkusen side again on 3rd January and his first game back will be 11 days later against leaders Dortmund, who have an 11-point advantage at the top of the table.
Experienced Ballack says he wants to see how Dortmund's young side copes when the pressure comes on from their title rivals, including defending champions Bayern Munich.
"They have had a good run, but I'm curious to see how these young men deal with potential setbacks," said the midfielder.