(CNN) -- Germany captain Michael Ballack will miss the World Cup after he picked up an ankle injury during Chelsea's FA Cup final victory over Portsmouth at Wembley.
The 33-year-old sustained ligament damage in a strong tackle from Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng that forced him to hobble off before half-time in a game that Chelsea won 1-0.
A scan in Munich revealed the extent of Ballack's injury, which will rule him out for up to two months, according to the German Football Association.
In a recent interview with CNN Ballack spoke of his excitement at leading his country to the World Cup, but he acknowledged it would be his last appearance at the tournament.
Now he will be forced to watch from the sidelines as Germany open their bid for the trophy with a game against Australia on June 13. Ironically, Boateng may be representing Ghana at the finals, who are also in Germany's group.
Ballack has 98 caps for Germany and made 36 appearances for Chelsea this season.
A statement on the German Football Association's Web site read: "German captain Michael Ballack will not be able to play at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. This is the result of a magnetic resonance imaging, which was performed this Monday in Munich.
"The tomography showed a rupture of the cruciate ligament and a partial rupture of the syndesmosis at his right ankle, which will be immobilized in a cast. Ballack will then wear a specially designed shoe for two weeks.
"German team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt said, that according to today's diagnosis, Ballack can look for a complete recovery, but that it should require a minimum of eight weeks before a possible re-entry into regular practice sessions."