Essien ends exile from Black Stars

Michael Essien will return to international action for Ghana's next competitive international against DR Congo in March next year, the country's football association has confirmed.

The Chelsea midfielder temporarily put his Black Stars career on hold in August, saying he wanted to concentrate on recuperating fully from a knee injury, which forced him out of the African Nations Cup and then the World Cup.

"Essien never said he will not play for Ghana again," Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi said of the player who has shown welcome glimpses of his best form this season. "He merely asked for time away from the team but has now told us he will be available in March."

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