Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is ready to give Michael Ballack a second chance to prove his commitment to the Blues.

The Observer says Mourinho's intention by leaving the German out of his Champions League squad was to challenge Ballack to accelerate his recovery from an ankle injury that has frustrated both himself and the Chelsea medical staff.

He believes the German will respond in one of two ways - either push himself to prove Mourinho wrong, in which case the midfielder will be available for selection again, or sulk at his omission, which will make it easier for the coach to leave Ballack on the sidelines and ultimately move him to another club.