BALLACK TO MISS BLUES` EURO TIES
Michael Ballack was not included in Chelsea's squad list for the Champions League group stages.
The Blues submitted their list of players last Friday and could not guarantee the Germany midfielder would feature in the majority of the Group B games as he is recovering from summer ankle surgery.
Jose Mourinho's men play Valencia, Schalke and Rosenborg twice before the group stages finishes on December 11.
The club's stance suggests Ballack may not return to domestic duty before the end of October.
"Naturally, we hope Michael's recovery is as quick as possible, that he returns to full training ahead of schedule and that he will then be available for the latter stages of the competition, should we qualify," read a statement from Chelsea.
The 31-year-old has not played since April and, because he is not registered, he will now not feature in European action until at least February, as long as Chelsea qualify for the first knockout round.
It has been a difficult weekend for Mourinho on the injury front, and he also has the frustrations of the international break to add to his concerns.
Frank Lampard was ruled out of Sunday's Aston Villa defeat with a thigh problem and he is still rated doubtful for England's European Championship double-header against Israel and Russia.
"I think he is definitely out of both games. I don't know, but I don't think (he will be ready)," said Mourinho in the London Evening Standard.
Striker Didier Drogba was forced off at Villa Park with a knee problem but at least there are 12 days before the club's next clash, with Blackburn coming to Stamford Bridge.
The break for international football, however, means other irritations for Mourinho.
"I have to speak to the players after 10 days," he said.
"Some players will arrive back on Thursday week and some on Friday week and then we have to play Blackburn on Saturday.
"I will now be working with half a dozen players and the kids from the reserves, enjoying my work every day - but not with the objective of preparing a team for the next game."
Mourinho admits the late withdrawal of Lampard disrupted plans for the Villa clash.
He said: "Lampard pulled out after training on Friday when doing individual work. It meant all the work we did in the week, you have to forget.
"You then have to try and build a team on Saturday to try and play such a difficult game (on Sunday)."
Taken from =football365=