Essien boost for Ghana

2010-01-08 15:32

INJURY-RAVAGED Africa Cup of Nations contenders Ghana have received

a welcome boost with the return to full fitness of star player Michael

Essien.

Essien tore his hamstring in Chelsea’s Champions League match

against APOEL Nicosia on December 9 but resumed full training this week.

The 27-year-old midfielder is due to join up with his Ghana

teammates in Angola on Saturday, but is doubtful for the Black Stars’ opener

against Togo on Monday.

Essien is expected to be accompanied by a Chelsea doctor, according

to a report on the BBC.

Ghana, four-time winners of this biennial continental championship,

face a tough opening group with favourites Ivory Coast waiting for them after

Togo followed by Burkina Faso.

Serb coach Milovan Rajevac has had to contend with a spate of

injuries to key personnel, with central defenders John Pantsil and John Mensah

and midfielders Stephen Appiah and Laryea Kingston all ruled out.

The first nation from Africa to qualify for the 2010 Fifa World Cup

aside from the hosts South Africa, Ghana are seeking their first Nations Cup

title in 28 years.

This appetising World Cup forerunner gets under way in the capital

Luanda on Sunday with hosts Angola taking on Mali.


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