Chelsea badgeChelsea are facing months without Michael Essien who is out of the game until the new year at least with a cruciate ligament injury.

The midfielder ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament during Ghana’s World Cup qualifier in Libya last week.

It’s a similar injury to the one Michael Owen suffered at the World Cup in 2006. He was out of action for 10 months.

A Chelsea statement read: “Michael has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and will undergo an operation as soon as the majority of the swelling has subsided. We expect this to happen in a week’s time.

“In the meantime, Michael has started rehab in the aqua therapy centre at Cobham which will improve the condition of the knee prior to surgery. A return to full fitness is not expected for several months.”

Essien has made 132 appearances and scored 14 goals since he joined the club from French side Lyon 3 years ago.

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