Essien on course for World Cup


LONDON, May 20 – Ghana midfielder Michael Essien hopes to be given the all-clear to play in the World Cup after a meeting between his country's Football Association and Chelsea's medical staff this week.
The Chelsea star has been sidelined since injuring his knee on African Cup of Nations duty in January and the Ghana FA are set to visit the Premier League champions to discuss his fitness in the next few days.

Essien has been continuing his rehabilitation at Chelsea’s training ground and is confident of being declared fit to be named in Ghana’s squad for South Africa.

"The plan right now is to have a detailed meeting with the Ghana FA and with Chelsea as well in the next few days," Essien told Chelsea’s website.

"We felt it was best to leave it until now so as not to disrupt Chelsea’s league and cup plans and also it is the best time for the Ghana FA as the team will be getting ready to meet up now.

"I have to keep working hard to be fit. Once I am fit I hope to feature in at least one trial match before the World Cup starts.

"I haven’t played since January so I will need games before the real thing starts. However even if I don’t get any trial games, as long I am declared fit by the medical team then I will be in South Africa for sure.

"At the moment I am carrying on with my rehabilitation programme. Chelsea have allowed me to carry on until the end of May at Cobham and my fitness will be assessed by the experts as the days go by.

"I feel a lot better than I did a few weeks ago so I am keeping my fingers crossed that all will be well."