Injured Essien ruled out of Ghana's World Cup squad
Friday 28 May 2010
Chelsea's Michael Essien has been ruled out of the World Cup finals after failing to recover from a knee injury, dealing a large blow to Ghana's hopes of getting past the group stage in South Africa.
In a statement the Ghanaian Football Association said: "An evaluation by a combined team of medical experts from the Ghana Football Association and Chelsea Football Club revealed that Essien will not make a full recovery until the end of July."
The midfielder has been recovering from a knee injury picked up at the African Cup of Nations in January. He played only 45 minutes at the tournament in Angola after suffering a hamstring injury in the Champions League last November.
Only last week the Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac described Essien as the leader and engine room of his team. The 27-year-old is hugely popular in Ghana and his image appears on posters all over the country. He has scored seven times in 50 appearances for his country and played at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Essien hinted several weeks ago he might not be fit for the tournament. "The last thing I want is to rush back and cause more problems down the line. If I make it for the World Cup then great – if not, I have my whole career ahead of me," he said.
Ghana are still unsure of the fitness of two other key players, Stephen Appiah and John Mensah, and even with a fully-fit squad faced a tough battle to qualify from Group D. They open their World Cup campaign against Serbia on 13 June, then face Australia before finishing off against Germany.
Latest in Sport
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker a doubt for Everton match after suffering muscle injury
Mario Balotelli posts hilarious Beatles picture on Instagram as he awaits Liverpool debut
Arsenal vs Besiktas player ratings: Alexis Sanchez? Jack Wilshere? Mesut Ozil? Who was the star man at the Emirates Stadium?
Champions League draw: Liverpool meet Real Madrid, but should they fear facing the reigning champions?
William Carvalho to Manchester United: Midfielder on the cards for Louis van Gaal after Arturo Vidal doubts grow
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water