Injuries force Essien out of World Cup

GHANA star Michael Essien has been ruled out of the World Cup due to injury.

The Chelsea midfielder, 27, missed a large part of the club’s historic double-winning season due to knee and ankle injuries and has hardly played any competitive football since December.

National coach Milovan Rajevac had hoped the former Lyon man would be passed fit for the showpiece tournament in South Africa this summer, but the Ghana Football Association today announced he was not expected to be back in action until the end of July.

Essien has been recovering from a knee injury picked up on African Nations Cup duty in Angola in January.

Ghana, who will be making their second appearance at the World Cup finals, are in Group D alongside Germany, Serbia and Australia.