Ballack back in experienced Germany squad

October 3, 2008

BERLIN, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Germany coach Joachim Löw recalled the experienced quartet of Michael Ballack, Torsten Frings, Per Mertesacker and Arne Friedrich for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Wales.

Ballack was among the senior players to miss Germany's first two Group Four matches - a 6-0 win away to Liechtenstein and a 3-3 draw away to Finland.

The 32-year-old captain has recovered from his foot injury and is back along with his preferred central midfield partner Frings, who missed last month's games with a broken nose.

Centre back Mertesacker and full back Arne Friedrich also return from injury.

Missing from the squad for the games against Russia in Dortmund on Oct. 11 and Wales in Moenchengladbach on Oct. 15 is the Real Madrid centre back Christoph Metzelder.

"He's very much part of our plans but we agreed that as he has not had much match practice at Real Madrid this season he would be better staying there and working on his fitness," Löw said on the German FA website.

Loew also brought in bruising midfielder Jermaine Jones and young goalkeeper Rene Adler as back-up for first choice Robert Enke.

Goalkeepers: Robert Enke (Hanover 96), Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Clemens Fritz (Werder Bremen), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg SV), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg SV)

Forwards: Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke 04), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich)