Traesch out too
Midfielder Christian Traesch was on Tuesday ruled out of next month's World Cup with an ankle injury and joins Michael Ballack on the casualty list, the German Football Federation (DFB) confirmed.
"Christian will not be available for us at the World Cup," said assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick at Germany's pre-World Cup training camp in north Italy.
"We all deeply regret this because Christian had proved himself in training and would have been in the final World Cup squad."
With Ballack also ruled out of the June 11-July 11 finals after suffering an ankle injury playing for Chelsea in England's FA Cup final 10 days ago, head coach Joachim Loew has lost yet another midfield option.
Alongside Stuttgart team-mate Sami Khedira, Traesch had been an alternative Loew was considering to replace Ballack at the heart of Germany's midfield.
The 22-year-old Traesch twisted his right ankle on Monday night just eight minutes into a Germany XI's 4-0 win over Italian third-division side FC Tyrol in a World Cup warm-up match at their north Italian training camp.
An MRI scan at a hospital in nearby Bolzano, north Italy, revealed the Stuttgart midfielder, who has two caps, has damaged ankle ligaments and can not train for the next 14 days.
Germany's first game is against Australia on June 13.
"It was a stupid situation, but it looks as though there is no tear in the ligaments," said Loew after Traesch tripped over while controlling the ball.
Apart from Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Piotr Trochowski, Loew is now lacking experienced midfielders.
Flick said they will not call up more players and are set to cut just two players from their provisional 25-man squad on June 1.
Despite the losses of Ballack and Traesch, midfielder Mesut Oezil still believes Germany will be a force to be reckoned with at the World Cup.
"It is a pity for the affected players, but our goal is still to bring the title home from South Africa. We will do everything to achieve that," said the Werder Bremen midfielder.
"You can't simply replace someone like Ballack and it also hurts to lose Christian.
"But I think we have a very strong team who can achieve our main goal."
Oezil says ex-Germany Under-21 midfielder Khedira can replace Ballack in the crucial defensive midfielder role.
"Sami can play in this defensive position, he has done it many times for his club and country."
Loew must register his final 23-man World Cup squad with FIFA on June 1 and has yet to decide who will captain the side in Ballack's absence and whether Bayern Munich's Hans-Joerg Butt or Schalke's Manuel Neuer will start in goal.
Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm is favourite to take over as captain from Ballack.
Germany face Australia, Serbia and Ghana in Group D at the World Cup.