"It is harder to work on your own at first but now I am with the team and have some extra sessions of my own with the fitness coach," the 31 year old told Chelsea's official website.

"In England you have no winter break so this (the summer) is the rest for the whole season. You need this.

"I hope the body can make a quick recovery, but the new fitness is not a problem because if you are one week early or late it is not so important, and there is little difference by the start of the season."

Ballack also believes he is better placed than last year when a long-term ankle injury prevented him from playing until December.

"Completely different," Ballack added when asked about how the current pre-season compares to last term.

"I didn't know when I would come back and it is completely different. I was injured and couldn't train with the team for months, so I am much happier now."