Michael Ballack's international career may have come to an end following his latest injury setback.
Germany head coach Joachim Low has raised doubts over the midfielder's future after he picked up a micro-fracture of his left shin - ruling him out for the next six weeks
Ballack picked up the injury during Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga game against Hannover over the weekend.
The former Chelsea midfielder has not appeared for the national side since March, when he picked up his 98th cap in the friendly defeat to Argentina.
An ankle injury suffered in the FA Cup final in May forced him to miss the World Cup and he was omitted from Low's recent squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers due to his lack of fitness.
Philipp Lahm successfully captained Germany during the World Cup and a debate has been raging over Ballack's recent comments suggesting that he expected to reclaim the armband from the full-back once he proved his fitness to Low.
However, now it seems that Low has raised doubts as to whether Ballack will ever return to the national team following his latest injury setback.
Low told the Badische Zeitung newspaper: "Generally speaking, and this does not only apply to Michael Ballack, everybody has got to realise when their time at the top is over.
"After this latest injury setback, we are going to have to see whether Michael Ballack makes it to Euro 2012, when he will be 35."