Bayer 04 Leverkusen will have to cope without Michael Ballack for at least their first two UEFA Europa League group games after the midfielder picked up a shin injury on Bundesliga duty.
The 33-year-old was forced off half an hour into Leverkusen's 2-2 draw with Hannover 96 on Saturday and has since been ruled out for six weeks following a scan. He will therefore miss the club's Group B opener at home against Rosenborg BK on Thursday and at holders Club Atlético de Madrid on 30 September.
Ballack is also set to sit out Germany's next two UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers against Turkey on 8 October and Kazakhstan four days later. Capped 98 times by his country, he was ruled out of Germany's run to the FIFA World Cup semi-finals with an ankle problem and likewise missed their opening qualifying victories against Belgium and Azerbaijan.
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