Sunday 17 December 2017

Essien ruled out for six months

Mark Fleming

chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament that is likely to rule him out of action for at least six months.

Essien broke down in training on Thursday when he twisted his right knee and collapsed in agony. The joint was so swollen that doctors who scanned him were unable to fully judge the extent of the injury for a couple of days. He underwent surgery yesterday to repair the torn ligament.

Essien, who has already suffered torn ligaments in both knees in the past three years, faces another long fight to regain fitness.

The injury also raises doubts about whether he will ever recover the power and drive that typified his performances for Chelsea before he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in September 2008 playing for Ghana and did not return until March the following year.

Essien (28) was then out for nine months when he tore the medial ligament in his left knee while training before the African Nations Cup in January 2010. Although he played 43 games last season for Chelsea, he never managed to scotch suggestions he was not 100pc fit.

The injury to Essien has injected some urgency into Chelsea's transfer activity and the club were last night considering making an improved offer of around £27m for Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric (25), after the Croatian's outburst on Sunday in which he restated he desire to leave White Hart Lane for Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea made a £22m bid for Modric last month which was rejected and described as "farcical" by manager Harry Redknapp. The Blues are also considering buying Joao Moutinho but his club Porto are insisting on the full £35m fee.

There were reports last night that they were considering making a bid for West Ham midfielder Scott Parker, who endured a frustrating 18-month spell as a fringe player for Chelsea in 2004 and 2005. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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