Essien not targeting specific return date

15 years ago

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has refused to set a date for his comeback from a knee injury.

Essien damaged his cruciate ligament while playing for Ghana in September and despite rumours of a return in January the 25-year-old is not setting a specific date for a comeback.

He told Chelsea TV: "I think with these injuries you can't really give it a time, it can be shorter or longer, the time is not that important.

"The most important is for me to get back stronger. If I come back early fine but if it takes a bit of time, fine.

"At the moment everything is going well, I am recovering very well and it won't be long before I can go outside and start running a bit."

Like most footballers Essien finds it hard to watch his team-mates in action when he is faced with time on the sidelines.

In order to deal with this the midfielder took time out and flew to the south of France immediately after he suffered the injury to take some time out of the game.

He said: "I wanted to have some treatment and it was good for the mind as well, to go away for a little bit, because when you see your colleagues training everyday and playing games it makes you miss the games.

"I can never forget about football but it's a bit strange to see my colleagues training and playing games.

"I don't like to stop, and it's hard at the moment but I have to be patient and look after the knee, come back stronger because I have more years ahead of me."

Despite the Ghana international being a major part of the Chelsea team, Luiz Felipe Scolari has led his side to the top of the Premier League in his absence and Essien believes that his replacement John Obi Mikel has performed admirably.

He added: "We have a big squad and everybody is capable of doing something for the team, so it's no surprise for me because we have the players, everybody is world class.

"Hopefully I will come back and join the party at the end.

"Mikel is playing fantastic at the moment. I think he needed more games for his confidence and at the moment he has that. He is doing a great job for the team."