The Telegraph says Ballack's advisers dismissed the idea of a third operation yesterday, but Chelsea believe there is a 50-50 chance he will need more surgery.
They are awaiting the results of biomechanical tests carried out by the team's sponsors adidas last weekend, but there is now a feeling that he will not be ready to return until Germany's match against Cyprus in Hanover on Nov 17.
Both previous operations were carried out by Ludwig Seebauer, a doctor who specialises in shoulder surgery. Chelsea are puzzled as to why Ballack's ankle injury was treated by a shoulder surgeon.
With this and the adidas promotional shoot mix-up, Ballack looks increasingly likely to be sold in January. Yesterday the Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster said he was keen on signing the midfielder if he was prepared to take a pay cut on his current £130,000-a-week salary.