Essien ruled out of World Cup with knee injury

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ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Ghana midfielder Michael Essien will miss the World Cup after failing to recover from a knee injury.

Essien injured a hamstring while playing for Chelsea against APOEL Nicosia in the European Champions League on Dec. 8.

He returned to play the second half for Ghana against Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations of Jan. 15, then injured his right knee two days later during training. He has not played since.

"An evaluation by a combined team of medical experts from the Ghana Football Association and Chelsea Football Club revealed that Essien will not make full recovery until the end of July," the association said Thursday on its website.

Ghana opens the World Cup on June 13 against Serbia, then plays Australia on June 18 and Germany on June 23.

Essien helped Ghana reached the second round of the 2006 World Cup in its first appearance at the tournament.