Germany coach Joachim Low admitted some surprise after learning that Chelsea had not registered Michael Ballack for the Champions League.

Chelsea insist they left Ballack off their squad list because he will not be fit "for the majority of the group phase games" as he continues his rehabilitation from the ankle operation he underwent on July 3.

However, Low revealed last night: "[Ballack's] injury is over now, it's becoming better from day to day. It's important that he gets a base physically for the season. His coach at Chelsea must decide when he comes back [but] we hope that he will return to our team for the Euro qualifier against the Republic of Ireland (on October 13)."