Chelsea hit by Essien blow on first day back

 

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has suffered a serious injury to his right knee during pre-season training.

The 28-year-old was last night undergoing a series of tests to the injury, which occurred on Thursday during the first full day of Chelsea's training programme under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, but club insiders fear the worst.

Unconfirmed reports yesterday claimed he had suffered a torn cruciate ligament, which, if confirmed, would be the third knee ligament injury suffered by Essien in three years and would raise concerns that he might never regain full fitness again. The usual recovery period for such an injury is six months.

Essien tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in September 2008 and missed six months, returning in March the following year.

Then he tore the medial ligament in his left knee while training with Ghana before the African Cup of Nations in January 2010 and suffered complications following surgery. The knee continued to swell up and the player underwent four operations in a fortnight before he was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the season, including the World Cup finals in South Africa.

He recovered last season and played 43 games in Chelsea's disappointing campaign, but he never seemed to play at full power.

Last night Chelsea issued a statement which said: "Michael Essien suffered an injury to his right knee during training this week. He will undergo tests over the next few days to determine the extent of that injury. Until we have the full results of those tests we will not be commenting further."

If the injury is as serious as suspected, it would be a major blow for Chelsea and would provide the first test for Villas-Boas – as he takes over from Carlo Ancelotti, who was sacked on the final day of the season – knowing only winning a major trophy will save him from a similar fate. It would also make it far more likely that Villas-Boas would be in the market for a similar player to bolster his squad, with a move for Porto's 24-year-old central midfielder Joao Moutinho a possibility.

At his peak, Essien is very much the complete midfielder: physically intimidating, relentlessly energetic, but also possessing a deft touch and a powerful shot from distance.

Essien has played 224 games for Chelsea since joining from Lyons for £24.4m in August 2005, and he was voted the club's player of the season in 2006-07.

Last summer he signed a two-year contract extension, worth £80,000 a week, that keeps him at Stamford Bridge until 2015.



Chelsea are hopeful they can replace English with Lille's medical chief Franck Le Gall, who also worked with French internationals at the national football centre at Clairefontaine.

Chelsea last night confirmed the appointment of Michael Emenalo as the club's technical director, overseeing the scouting operation, to replace Frank Arnesen. Emenalo, 46, was controversially promoted to assistant first-team coach to Ancelotti last November, following the dismissal of Ray Wilkins, against the wishes of the manager. Villas-Boas has successfully managed to manoeuvre the Nigerian, who sat on the bench alongside Ancelotti for much of last season, away from the first team. Villas-Boas will also have a greater say in the buying of players than his predecessors, and has brought in his own opposition scout in Daniel Sousa, greatly reducing the importance of Emenalo's role.

News
In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.
news

Arts and Entertainment
Australia singer Iggy Azalea has been attacked by Eminem in a new rap
music

Singer was ordered not to 'blow her rape whistle' in song 'Vegas'

News
news

Arts and Entertainment
'Africa' will be Angelina Jolie's fifth film as a director
film

Mr and Mrs Smith star admits she's 'never been comfortable on-screen'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Myleene Klass
people
Arts and Entertainment
Winnie the Pooh has been branded 'inappropriate' in Poland
books
News
Ashton Kutcher speaking at Human Rights Watch's Voices For Justice dinner in November 2013
people'What is so wrong about digging up dirt on shady journalist?'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as John Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
tv

Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year

Life and Style
Jane Merrick rides on a Micro Scooter through St James's Park, on November 18, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.
life
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was driven to a miserable death. His story is to be told in film
Sport
Qatar has very little football history

It is a crazy place to play in summer, writes Paul Scholes

Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
News
Actor Dave Prowse in his role as the Green Cross Code Man in 1982
peopleStar Wars actor to reprise his other role - as the Green Cross Man
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Brit Marling as PR woman Liz Garvey
tv

It was all about Liz’s cocaine-fuelled brainwave, 'The Metwork'

Voices
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad and Russia’s deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov flank Fifa president Sepp Blatter
voices
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines