Chelsea’s Michael Essien is coming to terms with the fact that he could miss the World Cup this summer as he struggles to recover from injury.
The 27-year-old – who would represent Ghana in South Africa – looks set to be out for the rest of the Premier League campaign at least.
Essien picked up a knee injury during the African Cup of Nations in January and although it was originally predicted that he would only be out for six weeks, he still hasn’t recovered. There was some talk that he would return this weekend against Stoke City, but this has quickly been dismissed.
Speaking about his situation, Essien said that everyone will just have to “wait and see” with regards to whether he will be fit to play in the World Cup. He is Ghana’s most important player after all, so he will do all he can to be there for his country. If he does miss out, it will be a huge blow to Ghana’s World Cup 2010 betting odds.
However, it is not something he is prepared to do unless he is 100 per cent ready for it. As Essien says, the World Cup is “the best and most difficult football tournament in the world” and he doesn’t want to take on the challenge if he isn’t fully fit.
As for the rest of Chelsea’s campaign, which includes Premier League games against Stoke, Liverpool and Wigan, followed by the FA Cup final against Portsmouth, it seems almost certain that Essien will miss out.
This isn’t the only problem facing Chelsea either as John Obi Mikel looks a doubt for the rest of the season too after he tore his meniscus in the recent defeat to Tottenham.
Mikel – who is likely to be in the Nigeria squad for the Football World Cup 2010 – will join Essien in being a spectator for his club side for the next few weeks in a bid to be fit to represent his country at the biggest event of all.