The Black Stars of Ghana have been dealt a huge blow with confirmation that star midfielder Michael Essien (pictured) will play no part in the World Cup after failing to recover in time from a knee injury sustained in January.
AFP - Ghana midfielder Michael Essien was on Thursday ruled out of the World Cup after failing a medical on the knee injury he suffered on Africa Cup of Nations duty in January.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) announced that the 27-year-old star midfielder had failed a joint evaluation by medical staff from the GFA and his club, Chelsea.
Essien is not expected to make a full recovery from the injury until the end of July.
"The Ghana Football Association wishes him full recovery and a quick return to football action," the GFA statement added.
The midfielder was hoping to make his second World Cup appearance following his debut four years ago in Germany.
Ghana open their World Cup campaign in Group D against Serbia on June 13.
Essien had been included in Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac's preliminary 30-man squad for South Africa this month despite not playing since injuring his knee in training before the Black Stars' Cup of Nations quarter-final win in Angola in January.
He had been continuing his rehabilitation at Chelsea's training ground and had expressed confidence at being declared fit to be named in Ghana's squad for South Africa.
Essien had sounded optimistic about his chances of playing for his country next month when he told Chelsea's website last week: "I feel a lot better than I did a few weeks ago so I am keeping my fingers crossed that all will be well."
His absence is a huge blow for Ghana even if Rajevic's men did succeed in making it to the Africa Cup of Nations' final without him where they were beaten by defending champions Egypt.
Date created : 2010-05-27