Ballack named in Germany squad

BERLIN - Germany captain Michael Ballack is in the squad for the 2010 World Cup qualifier in Azerbaijan on August 12 after overcoming a toe injury but fellow midfielder Torsten Frings has been dropped. Ballack left his club Chelsea's pre-season tour in the United States last month after fracturing his toe but appears to have fully recovered.

Germany coach Joachim Loew dropped Frings in favour of VfB Stuttgart captain Thomas Hitzlsperger who was outstanding last season, but said if Frings had a injury free-season he would still be an important part of the team next year.

Loew also picked Hanover's Robert Enke and Werder Bremen's Tim Wiese as his goalkeepers, dropping Manuel Neuer and Rene Adler but said this was not a final decision for his two choices in the position.

"At the moment we have four good goalkeepers and in the next matches in September ...there could be a different selection," Loew said in a statement on Friday.

Germany lead European Group Four by a point from Russia and Loew said he was banking on experience against Azerbaijan because, with the Bundesliga season starting only this weekend, players would not have sufficient match practice.

"It is for this reason that we decided to bank on players who we know," said Loew. "I am convinced we have picked those players who can be successful in Baku."

Azerbaijan have one point from five games in the group.

Germany squad:

Goalkeepers: Robert Enke (Hanover 96), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Marcel Schaefer (VfL Wolfsburg), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Christian Gentner (VfL Wolfsburg), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg SV), Sami Khedira (VfB Stuttgart), Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg SV);

Strikers: Cacau (VfB Stuttgart), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne)